Drogheda United 2
Galway United 2
TWO points dropped, or a valuable point gained? It certainly felt like the former after the final whistle on Friday night as Galway United let a two-goal lead slip with a wretched second-half performance, having been in total control of the game at half-time.
On the flip side, Drogheda had started the season in blistering form, hitting 14 goals in two games, and following Friday’s draw, they defeated Finn Harps in a rearranged fixture on Monday night, so maybe it was a good point for Shane Keegan’s side after all.
It certainly didn’t feel like that at around 9.35pm on Friday, when the small but vocal contingent of travelling supporters were left agape at the second-half collapse of their team. Maybe the visitors thought the job was done when leading 2-0 at half-time, but for whatever reason, they were completely overrun by their hosts in the second-half.
Still, having let Drogheda back into the game with a soft goal on the hour mark, the Tribesmen looked to be safe for the win when the home side were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes remaining, but rather than choke the life out of the game, United continued to sit deep and allow Drogheda to attack them, and the home side grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 83rd minute.
United started without Danny Furlong, who was ruled out through injury, but by half-time his absence was forgotten as Ballinasloe native, Eoin McCormack, opened his account for the season with two first-half goals.
The first was of the fortunate variety, his 37th minute strike taking a wicked deflection off Ciaran Kelly to wrongfoot Paul Skinner and end up in the back of the net.
His second three minutes later was a real finisher’s goal. Ryan Connolly whipped in a ball from the left into the space between the goalkeeper and the centre-backs. Skinner came off his line to gather, but McCormack beat him to the ball and beautifully dinked the ball over Skinner’s head to leave the visitors in control.
Drogheda reacted by making two second-half substitutions and switching to a more attack-minded 3-5-2 formation for the second-half as opposed to the 4-4-1-1 shape they employed in the opening 45 minutes.
Crucially, the visitors didn’t counteract, and it allowed the home side to completely dominate the second 45 minutes.
“They literally did the opposite to everything we talked about at half-time. Half of you wants to kill them, half of you wants to kill yourself as you wonder was it something you said at half-time.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.