Doherty's heroics rescue point for the Candystripes
Galway United 0 Derry City 0
Derry City held on for a point in a dull affair at Eamonn Deacy Park last night.
It is now three consecutive 0-0 draws in the league between Galway United and Derry, and had it not been for a terrific second-half display from Derry goalkeepr Gerard Doherty, it could have been a Galway victory.
There was a hugely controversial moment just five minutes in as a ball down the right wing by Colm Horgan eluded Dean Jarvis, leading to a race between Padraic Cunningham and Doherty, who came out of his area.
The striker got there first and tried to shoot past the goalkeeper, who blocked it blatantly with both hands. The Galway players and fans looked to referee Robert Hennessey for a dismissal, but the official opted to caution the Candystripes captain.
Both teams were lively in the early going and after Gavan Holohan had a volley saved by Doherty, Derry threatened for the first time when Ronan Curtis shot on the turn 10 yards from goal only for Conor Winn to save with his left foot.
The goalkeeper produced an even better save on 25 minutes to deny Barry McNamee a sensational goal. With the Galway defence asleep, Derry took a corner quickly and Ben Doherty crossed to McNamee, who hooked the ball over his shoulder brilliantly to beat his man and prodded it goalwards from close range, only for Winn to tip behind.
Those chances aside, it was a very forgettable first half, but the visitors could have gone into the break ahead when Lee Grace misjudged a pass from Jarvis, and Nathan Boyle had a sight of goal. Again, Winn was off his line quickly to rescue Galway.
The second half provided more entertainment, with Derry threatening early but Horgan was across to block Boyle's shot.
But it was Galway who should have won the game as they looked stronger as it went on. Kevin Devaney's header was brilliantly saved by Doherty on 69 minutes and two minutes later, Ronan Murray was denied by the Derry captain.
Derry's best chance came just six minutes from time when second-half substitute Nicky Low provided a quality delivery from his own half. Curtis rose highest to direct a header at goal, but the ball flew just wide.
In the dying minutes, Galway broke again and Cunningham went through and hit a powerful drive, but Doherty brilliantly pushed the ball wide of the goal.
Derry City: G Doherty, Barry, Jarvis, B Doherty, McDermott, Monaghan, McEneff (Holden 83), Curtis, Daniels (Schubert 78), McNamee, Boyle (Low 68).
Galway United: Winn, Horgan, Luden, Grace, Holohan, Cawley, Cunningham, Devaney, Shanahan, Murray, Folan.
Referee: Robert Hennessy.