Shane Keegan’s first competitive game in charge of The Tribesmen didn’t go as planned as Galway United were beaten by Drogheda United 1-0 out West on Friday evening.
Galway had all the attacking threat in the first half with several clear cut chances in the first 45.
A corner found its way to Galway United’s Vinny Faherty in the early stages and in what should have been an easy chance for the striker, he managed to instead hit the crossbar with the ball finding its way subsequently to his teammate, Lee Grace. Grace smashed his shot but with a crowded Drogheda goalmouth the ball didn’t get far.
Not long after, Galway’s Marc Ludden collected the ball in the middle of the pitch, the defender found Faherty who could only manage a tame effort towards Stephen McGuinness in the Drogheda goal.
Ronan Murray was involved in another great chance for The Tribesmen as he broke through and threaded a lovely ball through for Gary Shanahan on the right wing but Stephen McGuinness was there to meet the winger and make the save.
Drogheda’s Ciaran McGuigan impressed in the first half, halting Ronan Murray on more than one occasion once with a perfect sliding tackle to stop the former Ipswich Town player. Later, the defender was there to get in the way of a ball played across the Drogheda box, by Murray, managing to head the ball away from danger.
Drogheda finally got a clear cut chance at goal late on in the half when a cross finally found its way to Stephen Elliot but a combination of Lee Grace and Vinny Faherty managed to block down the shot.
The second half was a much quieter affair with play bogged down in midfield for large periods. Both sides were lacking any real creativity until later in the half.
Substitute Gareth McCaffrey had a great chance to score as the second half ticked on as he ran at the Galway goal but Lee Grace was on hand with a great challenge to stop the attacker.
Moments later McCaffrey managed to beat the offside trap. The striker blazed down the right but his shot was met by Ciarán Nugent in the Galway goal and the American was able to hold onto the ball.
The breakthrough was finally made, for Drogheda United when two of Pete Mahon’s substitutes combined for their goal. Thomas Byrne found Gareth McCaffrey, whose perseverance finally paid off, with a great through ball and Stephen Elliot’s replacement just managed to get a shot off at an incredibly acute angle with the ball finding its way into the Galway net.
Galway had a great chance late on when Murray won a free kick just outside the box. Gavin Holohan sent the ball into the box the ball then found its way to Murray, who couldn’t get over the ball and blasted his shot over the bar.
A frantic end to the game on both sides of the field but The Tribesmen couldn’t find an equaliser in the end.
Galway United have a tough task in their next fixture against Cork City while Drogheda United host St. Patrick’s Athletic in their first home game of the season next Friday.
Galway United: Ciarán Nugent; Colm Horgan, Marc Ludden, Lee Grace, Stephen Folan; Gavan Holohan, David Cawley, Gary Shanahan (Padraic Cunningham, 18), Kevin Devaney, Ronan Murray; Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Conor Winn, Paul Sinnott, Alex Byrne, Aaron Conway, Jesse Devers, Declan Sharkey.
Booked: Colm Horgan (70), Vinny Faherty (77).
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Stephen Dunne, Ciaran McGuigan; Jake Hyland, Killian Brennan (Seán Thornton, 45), Richie Purdy, Adam Wixted (Thomas Byrne, 63); Gavin Brennan, Stephen Elliot Gareth McCaffrey, 70).
Subs not used: Dylan Sweeney, Lloyd Buckley, Conor Kane, Ryan McEvoy.
Bookings: Ciaran McGuigan (67), Sean Thornton (83).
Referee: Robert Hennessy
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ciaran McGuigan (Drogheda United)