Wednesday 21 March 2018

O'Donnell Galway hero

Drogheda United 0 Galway United 1

Cian O'Connell

This was exactly the type of morale-boosting win that will have made Sean Connor's return trip back west through the motorways of the midlands a short one late last night.

The Galway boss has been stressing the importance of being solid, and this performance offered further evidence of the Tribesmen's considerable defensive improvement.

The opening quarter was flecked with goalscoring opportunities as both sides contributed to a lively start.

Darius Kierans' Drogheda were bright early on, and launched a clever ninth-minute move when Ryan Brennan's throw-in found Glen Fitzpatrick, who released Kevin Ross. Galway midfielder Stephen O'Donnell, though, tracked back diligently to make a brave block. Moments later, O'Donnell and Bobby Ryan manufactured a chance for Anto Flood, who was denied by a Paul Murphy save.

Galway, though, hit the front in the 16th minute courtesy of a splendid O'Donnell strike from the edge of the area.

Karl Sheppard's pace was vexing the locals, and Mick Daly conceded a cheap free-kick which O'Donnell curled delightfully around Murphy to nudge Connor's improving outfit ahead.

After the restart a determined Drogheda threatened, but Barry Ryan saved efforts from Eoghan Osbourne, Fitzpatrick, and Paul Crowley as Galway filched an away victory with a disciplined display.

Drogheda -- P Murphy; Treacy (Kerr 88), McNally, Daly, Osbourne; R Brennan, Ross, Crowley, B McGill; Flood, Fitzpatrick (Smyth 80).

Galway -- Barry Ryan; Conneely, McKenzie, Synott (Creaney 46), Meynell; Curran (O'Brien 70), Foley, O'Donnell, Bobby Ryan; Flood (Heary 90), Sheppard.

Ref -- D McKeon (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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