FOOTBALL: City secure hard fought win

Derry City's Ronan Curtis fired home the opening goal.
Derry City's Ronan Curtis fired home the opening goal.

Derry City 2-1 Galway United

Derry City returned to winning ways thanks to first half goals from Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle to see off a battling Galway United side.

Despite Gary Shanahan's goal, also in the first half, Kenny Shiels' side ran out winners and moved into third spot in the Premier Division, as they enter the mid-season break.

The Tribesmen will feel unfortunate not to get a share of the spoils, as they had a lot of possession and chances.

City made three changes from the side which played out a terrible scoreless draw last time out at Drogheda United, with Rory Holden, Joshua Daniels and Nathan Boyle coming in for Lukas Schubert, who dropped to the bench and the injury duo of Mikhail Kennedy and Nicky Low.

Galway thought they broke the deadlock on two minutes but Shanahan's celebrations were cut short, as the flag was up and his effort was ruled out for offside.

Derry took the lead themselves two minutes later after Marc Ludden brought down Daniels on the edge of the box and Curtis' resulting free-kick gave Untied's Conor Winn no chance and flew into the big keeper's bottom left hand corner.

The home side doubled their lead on eight minutes when Barry McNamee's left wing centre found Boyle and he headed home his fourth goal of the season.

Moments later McNamee broke the offside trap to latch onto Dean Jarvis' clever through ball, but his effort from just inside the box, was kept out by Winn.

United deservedly pulled one back on 24 minutes after Shanahan got in behind the City defence and his miss hit shot from 12 yards, bobbled past Gerard Doherty.

Just after the half hour mark United, who continued to push forward, were inches away from equalising as Ronan Murray's clever free-kick had to be tipped over by Doherty.

Curtis had a super chance to score City's third on 55 minutes, but from close range he blasted well over.

Minutes later United should have levelled things but Vinny Faherty saw his well hit shot, from Murray's centre, come back off the crossbar and Shanahan's follow up strike flashed just wide.

Boyle was inches away from scoring his second of the night on 78 minutes, but his close range header, which had Winn beaten, was blocked on the line by Lee Grace.

The woodwork came to Galway's rescue a minute later as Dean Jarvis' left wing cut-back found Boyle, but his side footed strike hit the post.

Derry City: G Doherty, Monaghan, McDermott, Barry, Jarvis; McEneff, Holden; Curtis, McNamee, Daniels; Boyle (B Doherty 86).

Galway United: Winn, Horgan, Ludden, Grace, Holohan, Cawley, Faherty (Cunningham 82), Devaney (Melody 87), Shanahan, Murray, Folan.

Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).