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Derry City men fight back to secure opening victory

Galway United 1-2 Derry City

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City came from behind to secure a win in the opening game of the new League of Ireland season at Galway United last night.

Trailing 1-0 at half time through a goal from defender Samuel Oji, Derry rallied and equalised through Sean Houston on the hour mark before Ryan Curran turned the ball home with nine minutes remaining.

The game finally swung into life on 20 minutes as Ryan Connolly's corner into the heart of the Derry penalty area was powerfully met by Sammy Oji, who headed the ball past Gerard Doherty, past Barry McNamee on the line and into the net to make it 1-0.

Derry almost found a way into the game with their first meaningful attack on 42 minutes as a long ball forward was flicked on by Ryan Curran, who took a knock as he flicked the ball through to Patrick McEleney.

McEleney raced through on goal but instead of shooting first time he opted to cut back onto his left, allowing Gleeson time to steady himself and he was able to parry McEleney's shot wide for a corner.

Derry needed to step it up in the second half and they did just that, with McEleney in particular grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck.

Galway remained a threat on the counter attack as Derry began to edge the possession, but it was the visitors who got back on terms just shy of the hour mark.

Unsurprisingly, McEleney was the man behind the goal as he took the ball to the by-line before whipping a low cross in towards the near post.

It seemed as if Ryan Curran would sweep the ball into the net, but the ball was just beyond the striker. However, it rolled on to the incoming Sean Houston who sent a cool finish low past Gleeson and into the corner to make it 1-1.

That goal gave Derry the boost they desperately needed and the Candy Stripes began to boss the game; Gleeson punching the ball clear in a panic under pressure from Curran, before Josh Daniels got in behind the Galway defence but he was unable to pick out a red and white shirt.

Galway soon weathered that storm but with the Derry defence looking much more solid in the second half, they were getting nowhere near Gerard Doherty's goal. As a result, Galway manager Tommy Dunne threw on young striker Pauric Cunningham to boost his attack with the game still very much in the balance.

It was Galway who made the offensive move but it was Derry City celebrating the second goal on 81 minutes as the visitors turned the game on its head.

Patrick McEleney was again the main man for Derry as his cross, this time from the left, found Ryan Curran, who somehow bundled the ball past Gleeson to give Derry the win.

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