Date: 7:45 p.m. June 3, 2016
Red: 28'- Conor McCormack 28'
Ten-man Derry City put in a battling performance as they held Galway United to a scoreless draw at Eamon Deacy Park on Friday night.
It was a resilient display from Kenny Shiels' side as they were forced to play with ten men for over an hour of the game following the dismissal of Conor McCormick for two yellow cards after 28 minutes.
It certainly was a half to forget for the Candystripes as they also lost Lucas Schubert and striker and top goal scorer Rory Patterson through injury inside the opening 35 minutes.
Both managers made just one change from last Sunday's games as Stephen Folan returned to replace the suspended Armin Aganovic for Galway, while Derry’s Patterson also returned from suspension to replace Keith Ward who dropped to the bench.
The home side started the better and had Derry on the back foot in the opening 20 minutes. Ryan Connolly played a lovely ball in behind the visitors' defence to find Ruairi Keating who beat Derry 'keeper Ger Doherty only to be denied by the covering Dean Jarvis who headed off the line after just six minutes.
Centre back Stephen Folan should have put Galway in front but headed over from close range after a corner was headed on by Killian Cantwell, this was after Derry full-back Niclas Vemmelund had sliced a clearance over his own crossbar.
Connolly then teed up winger Gary Shanahan for a shot on goal but he fired his effort into the Derry side netting, before McCormack received his first yellow card for simulation after he went down under pressure from Paul Sinnott in the home box.
The visitors were forced into their first change on 25 minutes when Schubert limped off to be replaced by Keith Ward and then referee James McKell issued a second yellow to McCormack three minutes later for a foul on Galway full-back, Marc Ludden.
Patterson, who has netted seven times in the league for Derry this season, then left the game with an injury. The home continued to press the game, Cantwell heading just wide and Keating shaving the post.
The game as a spectacle was ruined after the dismissal as it was shaping up to be a fairly decent contest, with both sides looking to pass the ball around on a beautiful surface. The visitors' attacking threat was stunted with the sending off and the withdrawals yet they still managed to reach half-time on level par, but without having a single shot on goal while Galway had nine.
Derry did finally have a shot after the break as substitute Keith Ward tested Conor Winn just before the hour mark, unleashing a well struck effort straight at the home 'keeper.
At the other end, Doherty was alert on 63 minutes as John Sullivan fired a shot on target through a crowd of players, which the 'keeper batted away. It only went as far as Galway's top marksman Vinny Faherty who struck the loose ball into the ground and just past the far post.
The Tribesmen did have the ball in the net three minutes later when Faherty finished from close range after Doherty had produced another excellent save from Enda Curran’s header, but the assistant’s flag ruled it out for offside. It was a close call.
Doherty was in action again on 73 minutes as he somehow managed to stop Sullivan’s close range effort from crossing the line under the crossbar after Ludden’s cross found the midfielder at the back post.
Derry almost snatched an unlikely late winner with six minutes remaining as Galway keeper Connor Winn pulled off an impressive save to deny Aaron McEneff pushing the midfielder’s strike around the post for a corner.
Galway continued to force the issue with their numerical advantage and almost found a breakthrough in the final minutes after Aaron Barry bundled over sub Jesse Devers. Captain Connolly’s free-kick found an unmarked Folan, but he saw his header go the wrong side of the post with Doherty well beaten.
The league now takes a three-week break with Galway away to Bohemians on their return while Derry will host Wexford Youths on June 24th.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Killian Cantwell, Marc Ludden (Conor Melody, 85), Stephen Folan, Paul Sinnott; Gary Shanahan, John Sullivan, Ryan Connolly (capt), Ruairi Keating (Kevin Devaney, 53); Vinny Faherty, Enda Curran (Jesse Devers, 79).
Subs not used: Kevin Horgan (GK), Eric Foley, Cormac Raferty, Alex Byrne.
Booked: Marc Ludden (50).
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Niclas Vemmelund, Dean Jarvis, Aaron Barry, Ryan McBride; Aaron McEneff, Conor Mc Cormack, Lukas Schubert (Keith Ward, 25), Joshua Daniels; Nathan Boyle and Rory Patterson (Conor McDermott, 35).
Subs not used: Shaun Patton (GK), Ryan Doherty, Jordan Allen, Patrick McClean, Ronan Curtis.
Booked: Conor McCormack (19).
Red Card: Conor McCormack (28).
Referee: James McKell (Tipperary).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ryan McBride (Derry City).