Date: 7:45 p.m. May 28, 2009
Venue: Terryland Park
Morrow scored either side of the interval after Derry had dominated the opening half hour without reward. Scullion added a third and in truth the visitors wouldn't have been flattered by a few more. Dave Cooke was inches away from opening the scoring within 90 seconds but it was as close as Galway were to get all night as Ger Doherty could have left his gloves at home such was his lack of involvement.
Derry made four changes to the side that drew with Shamrock Rovers while Galway brought Liam McKenna in at the back, restoring Dave Cooke to a midfield position. Cooke could have given Galway a sensational lead when he lofted a ball goalwards from the right touchline after 90 seconds. The crowd sensed a goal as the ball drifted over Doherty but they were reeling in their celebrations when the ball bounced back across the six yard box off the inside of the post and was cleared.
With three home wins already in the bag, was this to be another notable performance and triumph for the home side? This notion was swiftly dismissed within minutes as Derry's passing and movement had Galway chasing shadows. Early chances for Farren and Morrow were spurned as Gareth McGlynn and Liam Kearney on either flank made hay while the sun shone on a beach-like Terryland surface.
United suffered badly in midfield, like their counterparts from Manchester last night, as Ruadhri Higgins and Kevin Deery bossed the game. Last year Derry came and inflicted a four goal blitz in the first half on a similarly balmy evening in July and the fear was that a similar fate was on the cards for Ian Foster's side.
But the game stayed scoreless and the longer it went on the more a nagging doubt pervaded about whether the efficiency or lack of from Derry strikers Morrow and Farren would cause Stephen Kenny more headaches. Morrow's headed miss from Eddie McCallion's inch-perfect cross left the Dubliner incredulous but the Limavady man finally broke his duck with a tap in on 35 minutes from Farren's low cross and Galway now had a mountain of Himalayan proportions to climb, given their lack of options off the bench - only one sub was match fit - and general poor performance from those given the starting berths to that point.
Half time brought harsh words from Ian Foster, but there was to be no bright start to the second half or any "green shoots" for the natives to grasp some hope from. Outclassed and all as the home side undoubtedly were, their cause was not helped by an outrageous decision by Alan Kelly to award a penalty in the 51st minute. Michael McGrath, who was at fault for the first goal, was standing outside the penalty area when a cross struck his arm, but this was not enough for Mr Kelly not to deem the incident worthy of a spot kick, which Morrow cooly despatched.
David Scullion entered the fray in place of Liam Kearney early in the second half and he added the grace note in the 64th minute when he cleverly flicked home McGlynn's venomous right wing cross from six yards. The visitors were in the mood for goals and continued to press but failed to add to their tally, while a consolation goal was never on the cards. What should have been a very satisfying night for Stephen Kenny was soured, though, by injuries to three of his players. Both Liam Kearney and Barry Molloy ended up in hospital via an ambulance with Molloy reportedly hearing a crack in his ankle which may rule him out for some time.
It is becoming clear that Galway are a match for most teams when at full strength and on form, but the continuing absence of Sean Kelly, Shane Fitzgerald, and Alan Murphy from the squad means the upcoming games could be harrowing for the Tribesmen. For Derry, a draw in Turners Cross tomorrow night would be desirable for them before they continue their quest for league honours against St Patrick's Athletic on Tuesday night.
Galway United: Barry Ryan; Seamus Conneely, Shane Guthrie, Liam McKenna, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Jay O'Shea, Cian McBrien, Michael McGrath, David Cooke, Derek O'Brien; Vinny Faherty (Jason Molloy, 65).
Subs not used: Ger Hanley, Paul Sinnott, Mark O'Toole, Niall Walsh.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Eddie McCallion, Clive Delaney, Peter Hutton, Steven Gray; Kevin Deery, Ruardhi Higgins (Barry Molloy, 53 (Ciaran Martyn, 78)), Gareth McGlynn, Liam Kearney (David Scullion, 47); Sammy Morrow, Mark Farren.
Subs not used: Pat Jennings, Tam McManus.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gareth McGlynn - A welcome return to the side after injury and McGlynn was a constant threat on the right wing.
Referee: Alan Kelly
Attendance: 600 est.