Galway United host Derry City in an important SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow, kick off 7.45pm.
Last Sunday afternoon Tommy Dunne’s side suffered a controversial 2-1 defeat against a Kieran Sadlier inspired Sligo Rovers at the Dyke Road venue. Armin Aganovic, who will now miss the Derry game through suspension, was sent off in the 22nd minute following an altercation with Raffaelle Cretaro.
What agitated Galway most of all, though, was the fact that a penalty wasn’t awarded in the 63rd minute when Gary Shanahan appeared to be fouled by Sligo custodian Michael Schlingermann. It was scoreless at that stage, and manager Dunne was annoyed that referee Dave McKeon failed to give a spot-kick.
“We were comfortable enough, but again it is one of these situations where you do well up to a certain period,” Dunne commented. “That is no use, it is about doing well up until 94 minutes are gone when the game finishes after injury time.
“For us it is about a couple of decisions. It is a decision for us to get involved first and foremost, then it is a stonewall penalty and a sending off. If you have a penalty and it is 10 v 10, well then obviously the dynamic changes completely. We’ve got to look at our own side of things. That is all we can control, but I am just disappointed with the decisions. It was a clear penalty, I’ve watched it on the DVD. It was a clear penalty and a sending off.”
Sadlier stroked Sligo in front with a crisp finish, but Shanahan headed United back on terms. Unfortunately a lapse in concentration proved costly for Galway when Sadlier struck again. “We had just come back into it, and obviously it was going to be difficult for us,” Dunne admitted. “Sometimes you look at it, and you try to hold on to what you have.
“We got it back to 1-1, but again you are taking a chance. When we went one down we went with three players at the back and then you get one back so you sort of change the shape. For me it is just disappointing from the defensive side. Whatever is in your control, you have got to control and look after it.
“We were flicking in between because we were obviously chasing the game. You have to look to try to put two up top again, but for us the start of the second phase of matches is sort of going back to a bit of ill discipline. We’ve had two sendings off in the first three games of the second phase. You can’t do that, you won’t get away with that. For me that is the key to it.
“We were well in the Pat’s game, we had a sending off. The Sligo game was a 50-50 one where both teams were at it. If you keep 11 on obviously you’re going to look to turn the screw as much as you can at home. When you go down to 10 you’re always chasing it.”
Derry, who have accumulated 27 points in their 14 games, have enjoyed a hugely productive start to the campaign so United will need to produce a resilient display before the mid-season break.