Dermot Keely’s Dublin City side came to Terryland Park for Friday evening’s Eircom first division fixture needing a win to maintain their promotion hopes but were sent back to the capital by a commanding display from the home side which belied their place in the wrong end of the league table.
The Viking’s left back Robbie Hedderman had a night to forget as he was whistled twice in the space of six minutes for two second half penalties by referee Aidan O’Halloran. The first was a handball on seventy-two minutes which Derek O’Brien dispatched with ease after some reassuring words by Eric Lavine and the second came when Hedderman was adjudged, somewhat unfairly perhaps, to have tripped Philip Reilly as he raced into the box with twelve minutes left on the clock. Lavine stepped up this time to drive the ball straight and past James Gallagher in the visitors goal to cap a fine all round performance for the home side and leave the Terryland faithful wondering where this team had been all season. United started stronger and had the Dubs under pressure from the off. Dave O’Dowd won a free kick early on following a foul by Derek Pender on the edge of the area which Derek O’Brien took quickly for O’Dowd to drill low to the right corner, but a solid reflex save by Gallagher denied the hosts. Lavine floated off O’Dowd as the lone target man while O’Brien and Philip Reilly found space down the wings at either side of the solid midfield duo of Mixie Harty and Colin Fortune. O’Brien opened the scoring with a sublime effort on twenty-one minutes when he found space down the left and let fly from all of thirty yards with an unstoppable low drive across the visitor’s goal that had the home support in full voice. United continued to press but the visitors seemed to settle somewhat after the goal and enjoyed a period of dominance in which Alan Kelly got the equaliser when a cross by centrehalf Alan Keely was touched on by David Freeman for Kelly to finish past a furious Alan Gough in the home goal. Halftime arrived with neither side capable of breaking the deadlock, although Ray Scully did threaten with two fine long-range efforts just before the break. Thoughts inevitably turned to Dublin City’s last visit to Terryland back in June when a sucker punch ten minutes from time allowed the Vikings to escape with a point from a game in which the home side had dominated almost completely. However, the lessons appear to have been heeded and a battling second half saw United claim all three points to leave Stephen Lally’s men sixth place in the league ahead of their away game against Dundalk on Thursday night which kicks off at 7.45pm.
Galway United: Alan Gough, Ronan Frawley (John Russell 63mins), Ryan Casey, Billy Clery, Alan Keane, Colin Fortune, Philip Reilly, Mike Harty, Eric Lavine (David Cooke 83mins), Dave O’Dowd, Derek O’Brien.
Booked: Reilly, Lavine
Dublin City: James Gallagher, Derek Pender, Robbie Hedderman, Alan Keely (Trevor Vaughan 83mins), Ben Whelahan, Aidan Lynch, David McGill (Alan Mulcahy 65mins), David Freeman, Ray Scully, Robbie Collins (Eddie Smith 70mins), Alan Kelly.
Booked: Whelahan, Scully
Referee: Aidan O’Regan (Cork)