Saturday 21 April 2018

Stephen Folan fires Galway to late win over Derry


Stephen Folan of Galway United. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Stephen Folan of Galway United. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Galway United’s hopes of avoiding relegation were given a massive boost when centre-half Stevie Folan struck for a late winner at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The experienced defender went forward after Galway forced a couple of corners in succession and he found space to drill a low shot to the net 13 minutes from time.

It was enough to secure the points for Shane Keegan’s men and sets up another huge clash next weekend at home to Connacht rivals Sligo Rovers as the relegation battle looks set to go down to the wire.

There was an urgency from both sides from the outset, which was no surprise given that there was so much as stake for both of them.

But while Galway got on top initially, it 1-1 apiece at the end of an entertaining opening half which was played in excellent conditions.

Shane Keegan’s men hit the front after 14 minutes when a ball broke kindly in the box for Kevin Deveney and he slotted the ball low into the net.

Derry weren’t rattled though and their response was good and their neat passing created openings with Lucas Schubert narrowly off target with an overhead effort two minutes after they conceded.

Padraic Cunningham had a chance to double Galway’s lead after a good move involving Player of the Month Ronan Murray, but his effort flew over the bar.

It was to prove costly as Derry struck for the equaliser 13 minutes from the break when Rory Patterson supplied an excellent finish from the right into the bottom left corner after a deflection fell kindly for him.

Both sides had chances after the restart to hit the front with Patterson going close to edging Derry in front.

At the other end Gavan Holohan and Ronan Murray had chances but couldn’t hit the target.

The game seemed to be heading for a draw when Folan struck for the winner 13 minutes from time.

Galway forced a couple of corners in quick succession and the experienced Folan pounced to dispatch a priceless winner.

Galway United: C Winn; C Horgan, N Maher (A Byrne 21), S Folan, M Ludden; K Devaney, R Hale, D Cawley, G Holohan (C Melody 92), R Murray; P Cunningham (E McCormack 72).

Derry City: G Doherty; L Schubert (J McIntyre 84), E Toal, A Barry, C McDermott; H Monaghan, N Low, B McNamee, B Doherty (C Farren 84); R Patterson, R Curtis.

Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry).

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