Presseye/Lorcan Doherty; ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Candystripes's unbeaten run extends to double-figures as they head into midseason break in third

Ronan Curtis scored a terrific free-kick while Nathan Boyle added a second for the hosts.

Derry City 2

Galway United 1

Simon Collins reports from Maginn Park. 

DERRY CITY extended their unbeaten run to 10 games with a battling victory over Galway United at Maginn Park – a win which ensure the Candystripes go into the midseason break in third spot.

Derry striker, Ronan Curtis broke the deadlock after just five minutes with a beautifully executed free kick. And Nathan Boyle doubled that advantage with a header three minutes later as the home side appeared to be cruising to victory.

However, when Gary Shanahan’s strike reduced the deficit on 24 minutes it became a nervous encounter for a Derry team who really should’ve been out of sight.

Vinny Faherty hit the crossbar as Galway went in search of an equaliser in the second half while Boyle had an effort cleared off the line before striking the post for Derry.

But it was Boyle’s eighth-minute header which made the difference in the end as Derry finally recorded victory over the Tribesmen at the third time of asking this season.

The win moved City up to third, one point ahead of Bray Wanderers who they meet at the Carlisle Grounds when the league resumes on June 16th.

Kenny Shiels was forced to reshuffle his pack, making three enforced changes from the team which drew with Drogheda last weekend,

Rory Holden was handed his first start of the season, replacing the injured Nicky Low. Winger, Josh Daniels replaced Lukas Schubert who dropped to the bench while Boyle came in for the injured Mikhail Kennedy to lead the attack.

Galway, meanwhile, were unchanged from the team which lost to Bohemians as they came into the game on the back of two straight defeats.

Nathan Boyle Boyle grabbed Derry's second goal but it still proved a nervy enough encounter for them once Galway pulled one back. Donall Farmer; ©INPHO / Donall Farmer/INPHO Donall Farmer; ©INPHO / Donall Farmer/INPHO / Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Tribesmen had the ball in the back of the net after just three minutes when Kevin Devaney’s free-kick fell to Shanahan who blasted into the net, but it was ruled out for offside having hit a teammate on the line.

Marc Ludden clipped the heels of Josh Daniels on the edge of the area 60 seconds later. Up stepped Curtis who drilled his strike low into the corner of the net to give the home lot the lead – his third goal of the season.

And Derry doubled their advantage three minutes later when Barry McNamee crossed dangerously into the six yard area and Boyle rose above his marker and headed past Conor Winn.

McNamee then found himself through on goal as he latched onto Dean Jarvis’ pass but the Galway keeper got enough on the ball to prevent a third Derry goal.

City teenager Rory Holden had a point blank shot blocked inside the Galway six yard box as the home side continued to attack.

Derry appeared to be cruising but suddenly Galway were back in it on 24 minutes. Vinny Faherty cut the ball back into the path of Shanahan who scuffed his shot into the ground and it bounced over Gerard Doherty and into the far corner of the net.

And on the half hour mark Galway came close to an equaliser when Ronan Murray met Devaney’s cross with a neat flick at the near post but it went narrowly wide.

Derry were soaking up the pressure and City skipper, Doherty  was forced to turn Ronan Murray’s clever freekick over the crossbar at full stretch on 35 minutes as Galway finished the half on top.

Gary Shanahan Shanahan, seen here in action against Dundalk, made things interesting when he got one back for the Tribesmen. Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO / Tommy Dickson/INPHO Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO / Tommy Dickson/INPHO / Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Galway had appeals for a penalty waved away by match referee, Rob Harvey seven minutes after the restart when Shanahan appeared to be upended in the Derry penalty area.

Curtis was gifted an excellent chance on 55 minutes when Galway failed to clear their lines but the City striker blasted over the crossbar from 10 yards.

Galway striker, Faherty struck the underside of the crossbar on the hour mark when he hit Murray’s cross on the half volley at the back post before Derry managed to clear the danger.

With the game still in the balance Curtis found Boyle with an excellent cross from the left but the City striker’s downward, close range header was cleared off the line by Lee Grace with 12 minutes to go.

Moments later Jarvis found himself in behind the Galway defence who cut it back for Boyle who cannoned his shot off the foot of the post.

Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, A. Barry, D. Jarvis; J. Daniels, H. Monaghan, A. McEneff, R. Holden, R. Curtis; B. McNamee; N. Boyle (B. Doherty 87).

Subs Not Used: E. Grimes, C. Farren, M. Timlin, S. Todd, S. Whiteside, L. Schubert.

Galway Utd: C. Winn; C. Horgan, S. Folan, L. Grace; G. Shanahan, G. Holohan, D. Cawley, M. Ludden; R. Murray, K. Devaney (C. Melody 88); V. Faherty (P. Cunningham 82).

Subs Not Used: P. Sinnott, A. Byrne, A. Conway, R. Spelman, C. Nugent.

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