Derry City remain on course for a European spot after an easy win over a very poor Galway side, with the only surprise being that they kept the score down to four, at the Brandywell on Sunday evening.
Right from the outset it was clear it was going to be a long afternoon for John Brennan’s side as Derry produced a display as dominant as I’ve seen in some time. In the ninth minute after a spell of heavy pressure, a through ball from the outstanding Danny Lafferty put David McDaid through and he crashed the ball back off the post.
The inevitable opener arrived in the 16th minute when Patrick McEleney split two defenders and rounded Conor Winn before calmly slotting home. Good opportunities were spurned by Stephen McLaughlin and Eamon Zayed before Eric Brown surprised Gerard Doherty with a 30 yard dip which the Derry ‘keeper managed to parry out.
A Derry corner in the 34th minute extended the Candystripes’ advantage as Daniel Lafferty nodded home McLaughlin’s delivery. Two Kevin Deery headers before half time could easily have enhanced the scoreline but as it was Galway could consider themselves lucky to be only two behind at the break.
The second half continued in a similar vein interrupted only by a yellow card for a late Stewart Greacen tackle in the 57th minute. In the 62nd minute Eamon Zayed found himself clean through but wasn’t able to beat Winn who was having a good game.
Deery and McEleney continued to test the Galway net minder but it wasn’t until the 79th minute the third Derry goal arrived, and in quite bizarre circumstances. Stephen McLaughlin floated in a cross towards Zayed and Galway defender Stephen Walsh raised his hand and scooped the ball away. For this act of madness he received a yellow card and Derry were awarded a penalty which Eamon Zayed duly tucked away in the bottom right hand corner.
Derry legend Mark Farren replaced Patrick McEleney in the 84th minute and just before full time he was one on one with the keeper, fluffed his shot, but the ball came back in and he made no mistake the second time, scoring what was a very popular goal amongst the Brandywell faithful.
All in all Derry can be satisfied with the result, although Galway are going to need to regroup and address some of their problems before their play off games in November.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Ruari Harkin, Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney (Ryan McBride 46), Daniel Lafferty; Stephen McLaughlin, Barry Molloy, Kevin Deery (James Henry 80), Patrick McEleney (Mark Farren 84); David McDaid, Eamon Zayed.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Thomas McMonagle, Emmett Friars, Michael McCrudden.
Bookings: Greacen (57), McDaid (76).
Galway United: Conor Winn; Sean Kelly (Rory Gartlan 80), Paul Sinnott (c), Eric Browne, Stephen Walsh; Bobby Ryan, Gary Kelly (Gary Curran 75), Alan Murphy, Oscar Sibanda, Eduardo Dusi (Mikey Gilmore 66); Ronan Cauldwell (Darragh Duggan 80).
Subs not used: Willie Enubele, Paddy Hogan, Yob Son.
Bookings: Walsh (79).
Referee: Richie Winter.
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate)
Extratime Man of the Match: Daniel Lafferty.