Second half goals from Mark Doyle and Luke Gallagher earned ten-man Drogheda United a point at United Park after Eoin McCormack’s quickfire double had given Galway a two-goal advantage at half time.
Drogheda had the first attack of the game as Mark Doyle set off down the left wing, attempted to play a low ball across the box but Galway managed to cut the ball out for a corner.
From the resultant corner, Kealan Dillon delivered the ball to the near post where Gareth McCaffrey met it but failed to direct his header goalwards.
Galway found a gap in Drogheda’s defence four minutes later as the ball was played through to Eoin McCormack and, just as he was about to pull the trigger, in slid Ciaran Kelly to deny him.
This was the beginning of Galway’s pressure as two minutes later a long throw in from the right was flicked on into the six-yard box towards Alan Murphy, but he headed over Skinner’s bar.
Drogheda did have a chance on 17 minutes as Chris Lyons made a run with the ball into the box and had a chance to shoot on his left before switching back onto his right, which allowed Alan Murphy to slide in and deny him.
The home side almost paid for that missed chance a minute later as Skinner parried Stephen Kenny’s swerving effort into the path of Eoin McCormack, but his rebound was somehow cleared off the line by Kelly.
It was Galway’s turn to clear the ball off the line ten minutes later as Dillon’s corner for Drogheda was met at the back post by Buckley and brilliantly cleared off the line by a Galway defender.
A clever free kick routine on 33 minutes almost paid dividends for Drogheda as Dillon found Lyons with a low ball. He cut back onto his right again and this time did get to shoot, but his effort was straight at Ryan.
Galway took the lead four minutes later and Drogheda had themselves to blame as their defence switched off, allowed Connolly to play the ball to McCormack, whose deflected effort lifted over a diving Skinner to give his side the lead.
Both McCormack and Galway wouldn’t wait long to get their second of the game as McCormack attacked down the left in acres of space, marched into the box unchallenged and lifted the ball over Skinner to double the Galway lead and his tally on the night.
Drogheda manager Tim Clancy made both personnel and tactical changes at half time, bringing Colm Deasy on in place of Buckley and Luke Rossiter on for Gareth McCaffrey while also switching to a 5-3- 2 formation.
Rossiter almost made an instant impact as his stunning lifted ball found Lyons, but Lyons' first touch was too heavy, and the ball rolled through to Ryan.
Deasy was next as his long throw was headed goalwards by Farragher but Ryan got down low to his right to make a great save and keep Galway’s two-goal advantage intact.
Drogheda found a way back into the game just before the hour mark as the ball came into the box from the right, was flicked on by Farragher into the path of Mark Doyle, who scored his fourth goal in three games as he fired past Ryan.
Galway almost had their two-goal advantage fortunately restored two minutes later though. Connolly’s ball into the box was headed towards his own goal by Deasy, forcing Skinner into a save.
The resultant corner saw a scramble in the box before the ball broke to Alex Byrne, who fired over the bar from around 20 yards.
Deasy’s long throw-ins were causing havoc and with 20 minutes to go he again sent one, this time to the near post, towards Farragher but the Drogheda defender couldn’t hit the target.
Drogheda and Deasy’s night took a turn then though as he was shown a first yellow card on 72 minutes for what looked like a push near the corner flag.
Deasy was shown a second yellow and a red card just four minutes later – although it’s not entirely clear what his part was in the incident which happen on the edge of the Galway box.
In between those two yellows, Drogheda almost found an equaliser as Ciaran Kelly’s downward header hit the post. Hyland had been following in at the far post, but Ryan managed to clear.
Drogheda did find their equaliser with seven minutes of normal time left to play as Gallagher picked up a loose ball, played a ball to Meaney, who saw Gallagher continue his run and loft it back into the his path to produce a strikers’ finish as the sides shared he points.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Lloyd Buckley (Colm Deasy 46), Kevin Farragher, Ciaran Kelly, Conor Kane; Kealan Dillon (Stephen Meaney 69), Luke Gallagher; Gareth McCaffrey (Luke Rossiter 46), Jake Hyland (C), Mark Doyle; Chris Lyons.
Unused Subs: Luca Gratzer (gk), Richie Purdy, Victor Ekanem, James Carroll.
Booked: Ciaran Kelly (24), Colm Deasy (72, 76), Jake Hyland (86).
Red Card: Colm Deasy (76).
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Gary Shanahan, Maurice Nugent, Stephen Walsh, Marc Ludden; Stephen Kenny, Ryan Connolly (C), Conor Barry (Carlton Ubaezuonu 66), Alan Murphy, Alex Byrne; Eoin McCormack
Unused Subs: Arek Mamala (GK), Gary Kinneen, Adam Rooney, Conor Melody, Ronan Manning, Conor Layng.
Booked: Maurice Nugent (32), Eoin McCormack (81).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Attendance: 550 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Kevin Farragher (Drogheda United).