Galway take advantage of Dundalk’s European hangover

Lilywhites shocked at Eamon Deacy Park days after Champions League heroics

Vinny Faherty scored Galway’s winner against Dundalk. Photograph: Inpho

Vinny Faherty scored Galway’s winner against Dundalk. Photograph: Inpho

 

Galway United 1 Dundalk 0

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions Dundalk were stunned by a gritty Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Vinny Faherty’s smashing 45th minute header proved to the decisive blow as Tommy Dunne’s Galway outfit claimed a surprise victory.

Having reached the UEFA Champions League Play-off round Dundalk were expected to make a winning return to domestic action, but Galway admirably refused to read from that script.

The Tribesmen summoned a defiant defensive display to secure three valuable points with the visitors’ left frustrated on the banks of the Corrib.

It was Galway’s most impressive result since making a welcome return to the top flight 17 months ago.

There was plenty to admire in how Galway coped with the champions during an interesting first half that featured decent chances for both teams.

Dundalk commenced brightly with Galway custodian Conor Winn forced to make two fine saves in the opening six minutes.

Winn thwarted a Darren Meenan free-kick and a Ciaran Kilduff header, but as the opening period lingered on Galway improved considerably.

That was chiefly due to the diligent play of their central midfield trio Alex Byrne, Paul Sinnott, and skipper Ryan Connolly.

Initially Galway had encountered some bother, but as the interval approached Galway suddenly caused Dundalk problems.

An inviting 42nd minute free-kick from Connolly found Stephen Folan, who hooked the ball over the bar, but Galway continued to pose questions.

On the stroke of half-time Stephen Walsh’s splendid left wing cross was met by a sweet Vinny Faherty as Galway hit the front.

After the restart Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny introduced prolific striker David McMillan to partner Ciaran Kilduff.

Galway survived a couple of scares as Chris Shields flashed a shot over the bar, while Robbie Benson thumped a shot wide.

There was an attacking cut to the Dundalk team, but Galway’s defence was being well marshalled by Folan, who remains an influential figure for the Tribesmen.

Late on Kilduff headed a John Mountney corner over the bar in the last minute as Galway held on to record a hugely satisfying success.

Galway United: Winn; Horgan, Aganovic, Folan, Walsh; Shanahan, Byrne (Garcia, 69), Sinnott, Devaney (Ludden, 83); R Connolly; Faherty (Curran, 75).

Dundalk: Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey; Shields (O’Donnell, 62); Meenan (Mountney, 75), McEleney (McMillan, 58), Benson, Horgan; Kilduff.

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

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