Farren makes his Mark yet again for Derry City
Galway United 0 Derry City 1
Mark Farren set up a barnstorming finish to Derry City’s season with the only goal of a disappointing FAI Ford Cup semi-final over Galway.
The game may have had little to recommend it as a spectacle, but semi-finals are all about results and the final against Bohemians has much greater potential for thrills and spills.
There’s no great love between the clubs — and particularly not between manager Stephen Kenny and his old employers — while the Derry players will relish the prospect of taking on Pat Fenlon once again.
Derry did what they had to do at a wet and windy Terryland Park and Kenny accepted afterwards that it hadn’t been pretty.
“It's funny, I suppose we're not really elated after it which you would expect — we're just relieved really,” he said.
“The players are relieved because we know we didn't play well, but we defended well.”
Derry had a stiff breeze to contend with from the outset and with that in mind were particularly cautious for the first 20 minutes or so as they struggled to get the ball out of their own half.
Galway came closest to scoring in that opening spell with Danish midfielder Jesper Jorgenson — playing in the hole just off the front two — threatening with a volley from distance before the promising Jay O'Shea shot narrowly wide after weaving his way through the Derry defence.
Towards the break, however, Derry began to get more of a grip on midfield and then began to threaten the Galway goal.
And they might even have gone in at half-time with a lead had Sammy Morrow not produced a wild shot when well-placed in the 44th minute.
Then just after the restart they wasted another golden opportunity when Niall McGinn saw his corner headed off the line by Alan Keane with the breeze almost taking the ball over the line.
Almost inevitably when the breakthrough came, it was Farren who finished it off.
The Donegal striker has been in superb form recently and there really was no other outcome than the opener when he raced onto Gareth McGlynn’s clever flick in midfield.
“Mark nearly joined Sligo Rovers at the end of last season,” revealed Kenny after the game.
"”he deal was almost done. But when I came in, he was a player that I badly wanted to keep.
“That's six goals in five games for him now.”
Clive Delaney was in imperious form at the back for Derry and when they did come under pressure in the closing stages, the big centre half was there to stand firm.
The only exception was with 13 minutes remaining when John Lester got to the byline before swinging in a cross that found its way to an unprepared Vinny Faherty whose toe-poke trundled the wrong side of the post.
After that, Derry stood firm and really should have added a second as they wasted a host of opportunities on the counter attack with sub Thomas Stewart guilty of a couple of bad misses.
In the end it didn’t matter as one goal was as good as 10.
“I don't think Bohs would be worried or trembling after seeing us today,” admitted Kenny, who is relishing the prospect of renewing his rivalry with Pat Fenlon. “We have to try and do better. We can do better.”
Galway United: Rogers, Sinnott, Kenna, A Keane, Conneely; J Keane, Lester, Jorgenson, Foley (Glynn 73); O'Shea, Faherty
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Delaney, McChrystal, Gray; McGlynn, Molloy, Deery, McGinn; Morrow (Stewart 68), Farren
Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork)