Healy celebrates in some decisive style

 

FELIX HEALY celebrated' his 50th game in charge of his home-town club with a thoroughly deserved victory over Galway in this one-sided encounter at the Brandywell yesterday.

In fact, Healy could only watch in frustration from the dug-out as his side squandered chance after chance during the windswept first-half.

With Paul Doolin commanding the centre of the park single-handedly, Harry McCourt and Mark Feeney should have taken advantage of glorious chances in front of goal within the first IS minutes.

But Derry continued to experience difficulty with the wind at their backs, and McCourt spurned an excellent opportunity in the 18th minute when he lobbed the ball over the bar with Galway goalkeeper, Joey Power, caught in no-man's-land.

Feeney missed another sitter in the 26th minute and Doolin smashed a 25-yard shot off the post with Power beaten.

McCourt, however, made amends alter the break with a two-goal blast as Derry appeared to cope much better when facing the strong wind.

On-loan signing from Shelbourne, Tommy Dunne, who had a superb game at the back, proved the architect of the opening score. Having linked well with Peter Hutton, the Dub liner's deep, left-wing cross was powered to the net off the head of McCourt who rose unchallenged from eight yards.

And McCourt burst to the fore again seven minutes later when his electrifying pace carried him clear of Galway defender Fran Carter.

The local man, who raced onto a defensive clearance, neatly tucked the ball into the corner of the net as Power advanced. Derry had further chances to increase their lead, but Power pulled off a superb save to deny another new signing. Gary Beckett, while Tom Mohan was unlucky to see his curling shot scream agonisingly wide of the upright.

Derry's dominance would be best summed up by the fact that Galway's first serious assault on the home goal did not arrive until the 73rd minute when the towering Donnie Farragher brought the best out of Tony O'Dowd.

Two goals from Jordi Lardin gave Espanol a 2-0 home victory over Valencia yesterday which kept them within sight of Spanish League leaders Atletico Madrid, 3-1 winners over Tenerife on Saturday.

Lardin scored a superb individual effort on the half-hour and rounded off a fine all-round performance when he gave Valencia goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta no chance midway through the second half.

Despite the defeat, Valencia stay fifth, followed by defending champions Real Madrid, who squandered a 2-0 lead at lowly Merida.