Galway United 0
Derry City 4
There is no disguising that in the Eircom League pace matters. It is fact rather than fiction that any team blessed with speed will earn points. And so it transpired at Terryland Park as Galway United were mauled in the opening half hour by a rapid Derry City outfit that bagged early and often to remind the locals of their bleak current predicament.
It was difficult not to think of those who have flocked through the exit door during a distressing July. The Regillio Nooitmeer version of 2007 would have provided swiftness at the back which was ruthlessly exploited by Derry’s spearhead Mark Farren.
Derek O’Brien would have offered a genuine threat on the left. Gary Deegan’s bustle now has a fitting canvas at Dalymount Park, but how Galway missed such fire and fury on Friday as Derry’s governance of the midfield combat was utter. Stephen Kenny’s system, which included three central midfielders, flattened the locals who were unable to cope with the initial flurry of Candystripe attacks.
Still the circumstances surrounding the first Derry goal were irritating. How Mark Farren and Thomas Stewart were permitted to clip Gareth McGlynn clear was worrying, and though the midfielder’s shot was tame it somehow evaded Alvin Rouse.
A brief Galway riposte offered brief encouragement. Derek Glynn was worrying the visitors and Vinny Faherty extracted a smashing save from Gerard Doherty. Derry maintained their composure during Galway’s spurt before seizing control in the 21st minute.
Niall McGinn, clever and relevant throughout, cut a dash on the right flank, crossing for Farren to nudge Derry two ahead. Galway were unlikely to recover and the mission was impossible moments later as Derry struck twice within 60 seconds.
In the 28th minute Ciaran Martyn, crafty in the centre of the park, rolled McGinn clear and the winger supplied a smooth finish from just inside the area. Subsequently Martyn was the provider for Stewart’s similarly artful fourth.
Damage limitation was all that occupied Galwegian minds now. Avoiding a severe thumping was the task. That it was achieved still scarcely mattered as the destruction Derry caused carried severe implications.
Before the break Galway improved a touch with Jay O’Shea, Glynn, and Vinny Faherty admirably craving involvement. The majority of Galway’s most effective approach work emanated from O’Shea’s tasty right foot, while Faherty’s work ethic even when trailing by four was laudable.
In the second half Galway were competitive as Jeff Kenna and John Lester drilled long-range efforts on target to examine Doherty, who was the busier custodian. Glynn also went close as Galway ought to have nicked a consolation, but that is all it would have been. The full-time whistle brought ample time for reflection on a joust that exposed the gulf in guile and tempo.
Galway United: Rouse; Kenna (Conneely, 79 ), Fitzgerald (McBrien, 61 ), Lester, McCulloch; O’Shea, Foley, Murphy, Fenn; Faherty (Molloy, 84 ), Glynn.
Derry City: Doherty; Deery, Delaney (Molloy, 77 ), Hutton (McCallion, 32 ) McCrystal; McGinn, McGlynn, Higgins, Martyn, Stewart; Farren (McHugh, 81 ).
Referee: A Buttimer (Cork ).