Date: 7:45 p.m. June 5, 2009
Venue: Terryland Park
It was most certainly a tale of two halves in this tie as the home side dominated the opening half and should have been more than Vinny Faherty's sixth minute opener to the good. Jay O'Shea looked set to make it 2-0 on 27 but Paul Skinner made a good save to his left. Drogheda then controlled the second period and deserved their equaliser when it came through an unmarked Brian King who had the simplest of finishes from Robbie Clarke's pinpoint cross.
Galway had made one change from the unsuccessful trip to Dalymount, with Faherty coming back in to replace Declan Edwards, while Alan Mathews persisted with the same team who had won heroically on Tuesday night as Steve Williams failed to recover from a knee problem.
With only six minutes on the clock the home fans were on their feet to applaud a goal, as Faherty took advantage of hesitation by Conor Kenna to nip in and clip the ball past the advancing Skinner, who was expecting a back pass from the centre half.
Drogheda responded well and good work by Robbie Clarke led to a shot from King flying left and wide. Soon after Paul Crowley tried to pick out a run by Shane Barrett but overhit the pass; the striker was booked for diving in the 18th minute under a clumsy challenge from Shane Guthrie.
Jay O'Shea was getting on the ball in the final third but failed to provide a decent cross on 20 before Faherty tried an audacious lob from 35 yards when he latched onto Seamus Conneely's quick throw. Iarfhlaith Davoren surged forward in the 27th minute, reaching the edge of the box before O'Shea took over and the U21 international was felled in the area by James Chambers.
It was Galway's first penalty of the campaign, but O'Shea went for power rather than accuracy and failed to convert as his shot was parried away by Skinner. The best Drogheda could offer at this stage was a low cross from Jamie Duffy that Barry Ryan spilled but there were no attackers on hand to profit.
Skinner again did well to dart out and intercept Conneely's through ball which Dave Cooke was running onto, and Galway retired to the dressing room with the slenderest of leads. Whatever Alan Mathews said at the break worked a treat as his side quickly got on the front foot, bossing the congested midfield sector where the two Pauls, Crowley and Shiels, began to get the upper hand.
The home side were guilty of dropping deeper as well and not putting enough pressure on the ball as they had done. James Chambers whipped in a number of good deliveries from set pieces but a chance failed to present itself until King struck for the equaliser on 66.
The danger looked minimal as Drogheda won a throw in the left corner, but Robbie Clarke worked his way into a decent crossing position and floated a cross to the far post where King lurked unopposed and the former UCD man netted with aplomb.
The remaining 25 minutes were remarkably open as both sides pushed for a winner, but neither could create the opportunity that would draw a critical hit. In the circumstances Drogheda will be the happier of the two, coming from a goal down, while Galway at least have stopped their run of defeats and can now turn their attention to next week's trip north to take on Finn Harps in the FAI Cup.
Galway United: Barry Ryan; Seamus Conneely, Shane Guthrie, Garry Breen, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Jay O'Shea, Dave Cooke, John Russell, Michael McGrath (Jason Molloy, 65), Derek O'Brien; Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Mark O'Toole, Paul Sinnott, Cian McBrien, Declan Edwards.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; James Chambers, Conor Kenna, Alan McNally (Ian Ryan, 91), Robbie Clarke; Jamie Duffy, Paul Shiels, Paul Crowley, Brian King; Shane Barrett, Robbie Martin (Dave O'Connor, 79).
Subs not used: Joe Flanagan, Eoghan Osborne, Gavin Whelan.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Paul Crowley.
Referee: Padraig Sutton.