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Battling Candystripes triumph to move on up

 

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City held off a strong Galway United fightback to emerge as winners in the final game before the mid-season break at Maginn Park.

Goals from Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle in the first 10 minutes proved to be enough for the Candystripes - who move up to third, just three points behind champions Dundalk - but they were perhaps fortunate to hold out in the end with a goal from Gary Shanahan sparking a comeback from Galway.

City opened the scoring after just five minutes when they won a free kick 20 yards from goal and Curtis drilled the ball over the wall and past Conor Winn into the net just five minutes in.

Derry City were far from content however and they doubled their lead just four minutes later with another devastating attack from the hosts. The move ended with Barry McNamee collecting the ball on the left of the Galway penalty area, and his first time cross was perfect for Nathan Boyle who headed in from close range for his fourth goal of the season.

It could and perhaps should have been 3-0 when City broke again and McNamee found himself in on goal, but he was denied his seventh goal of the campaign by Winn, who got just enough on the shot to send it behind for a corner.

Galway were completely asleep however and McNamee took the corner quickly, finding Rory Holden unmarked in the area, and the youngster brought another save from Winn, who had to parry the teenager's stinging shot from the angle.

A frenetic first half took another twist however as Galway grabbed a goal back on 25 minutes. Stephen Folan played an incredible 45-yard pass cross field to pick out Vinny Faherty into the City penalty area.

Faherty's first touch was sublime, as was his chipped pass to Shanahan, who slipped as he took the shot, but still got enough on the ball to beat Gerard Doherty to make it 2-1.

Galway should have equalised on 59 minutes when a superb break saw Ronan Murray break clear on the right and his cross to the back post was perfect for Faherty, whose close range effort beat Doherty but crashed off the underside of the crossbar and somehow stayed out. Boyle's head was in his hands again just second later as he passed up another superb chance to score.

Derry City: G Doherty, McDermott, Jarvis, Barry, McEneff, McNamee, Monaghan, Curtis, Daniels, Holen, Boyle (B Doherty 87).

Galway United: Winn, Horgan, Luden, Grace, Holohan, Cawley, Faherty (Cunningham 83), Devaney (Melody 88), Shanahan, Murray, Folan.

Referee: Robert Harvey.

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