Derry City grind out point despite early red card setback
Galway United 0-0 Derry City
Derry City earned a point against Galway at Eamon Deacy Park despite playing for more than an hour with 10 men following the first-half dismissal of Conor McCormack.
Kenny Shiels' team arrived in Galway hoping to go into the mid-season break on the back of a victory but a disastrous first half for the Candystripes ensured that they were forced to dig deep for a point.
That first half was nothing short of disastrous for the visitors, who lost three of their starting 11, with Conor McCormack, Lukas Schubert and Rory Patterson all failing to make it beyond 35 minutes.
Galway started the game on top and could have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute when Ryan Connolly's through ball put Ruairi Keating in on goal, but Gerard Doherty came to Derry's rescue with an important save.
The hosts remained on top and they passed up another opportunity when an unmarked Stephen Folan was picked out by Enda Curran's corner, but he somehow headed over from only six yards.
Derry were really struggling to get into the tie and their task became much more daunting when McCormack was red-carded for a second bookable offence on 28 minutes, the midfielder paying the price for a needless yellow card for simulation earlier in the game.
Either side of that dismissal, manager Shiels was forced to make substitutions as Schubert and then Patterson left the field with hamstring injuries as Derry limped towards half-time clinging on to the 0-0 scoreline.
Galway began to take advantage of their numerical superiority in the second period with Gerard Doherty called on to make saves from John Sullivan and then Enda Curran as Derry hung on doggedly.
But as the game went on, the expected onslaught from the hosts failed to materialise, and with just five minutes left on the clock, Derry very nearly nicked all three points when Aaron McEneff sent a brilliant shot at goal from 30 yards which forced Conor Winn into a scrambling save as he pushed the ball past the post for a corner.
Galway tried everything to get through the resolute Derry defence in the closing stages but they failed to test Doherty again and their inability to break through extended a poor run of form to just one win in eight games.
With injuries now beginning to pile up for Derry, the mid-season break has come at the right time for them.
Galway United: Winn, Ludden (Melody 86), Cantwell, Sinnott, Sullivan, Curran (Devers 78), Connolly, Faherty, Keating (Devaney 52), Shanahan, Folan.
Derry City: Doherty, Vemmelund, McBride, Barry, Jarvis, Schubert (Ward 25), McEneff, McCormack, Daniels, Boyle, Patterson (McDermott 34).
Referee: Jim McKell