Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
A solitary strike from Mark Doyle separated the sides in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night as Galway United were downed 1-0 by visitors Drogheda United.
The Tribesmen have now lost all three of their home games so far this season as Drogheda picked up their first away win of their 2019 First Division campaign.
A long punt of the ball from ‘keeper Paul Skinner somehow found its way over the heads of three Galway defenders and to the feet of Mark Doyle for the first chance of the game.
The striker was unable to settle his feet and floated the ball over the crossbar letting the home side away with what could have been a disastrous start for Galway United.
Maurice Nugent burst through the midfield, breaking a challenge as he did so. After two powerful strides the midfielder set up United’s first shot on goal threading a lovely ball through to Conor Barry but the following tame effort barely worried Skinner in The Boynesiders goal.
Later in the first half Galway had a key chance clawed back off the line when Marc Ludden played Christopher Horgan down the wing. The defender played a searching ball across the goal and Conor Melody dove for the ball but Skinner was able to keep the ball out of the net.
Out of the blue and into the back of the net went Mark Doyle’s second effort, when the striker scored from nothing after 24 minutes. He carried the ball deep into the Galway box with Christopher Horgan unable to catch the striker fully.
Werner began to come off his line but Doyle took aim and hammered the ball between the keeper’s legs to put the away side in the lead.
Alan Murphy rang the changes at half time with Dara Costelloe and Ivan Gamarra entering the fray. It was Gamarra who created the first solid chance of the second half when he rolled the ball from the edge of the box into Vinny Faherty.
The striker had his back to the ball and had to swivel under pressure to get his shot off curling it wide of the goal.
Around the hour mark Galway were living dangerously just outside their box with Drogheda advancing.
Stephen Walsh dispossessed the away side with a great sliding tackle only for Stephen Meaney to steal the ball back and strike a rasping shot at goal and getting the best out of Werner as the goalkeeper batted the ball away.
Drogheda had a great chance to double their lead when James Brown took off on a darting run across the pitch before laying the ball off for Conor Kane. The defender found Stephen Meaney and laid a free header on the striker’s plate but he couldn’t capitalise and he nodded it over the bar.
Galway pulled off a lovely move to almost pull themselves level with Drogheda with 75 minutes gone. Ludden curled a lovely ball around the Drogheda back-line setting Vinny Faherty up for a snapshot but the striker blazed the ball wide of the goal.
Just as the regular 90 minutes came to an end a scramble at the Drogheda end again nearly led to Galway taking something from this game.
The ball broke to second half substitute Jeff McGowan and the forward played a speculative ball across the goal. Dara Costelloe almost got there to turn the ball into the net but the young midfielder, at full stretch, couldn’t convert the chance.
Galway United: Andreas Werner; Christopher Horgan (Jeff McGowan 75), Stephen Walsh, Cian Murphy, Marc Ludden; Conor Melody, Maurice Nugent, Joe Collins (Ivan Gamarra, 46), Conor Barry; Colin Kelly (Dara Costelloe 46), Vinny Faherty.
Subs not Used: James Tierney, Ronan Asgari, Wilson Waweru, Mark Hannon.
Booked: Marc Ludden (66), Stephen Walsh (67).
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; James Brown, Conor Kane, Kevin Farragher, Luke McNally; Luke Gallagher, Mark Hughes, Sean Brennan (James Clarke 55), Cian Kavanagh (Luke Henney 78); Mark Doyle, Stephen Meaney (Chris Lyons 70).
Subs not Used: Luke Gratzer, Sean Trimble, Eoin McPhilips, Jordan Adeyemo.
Referee: Ray Matthews
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Mark Doyle (Drogheda United)