A 61st minute Ross Gaynor goal edged Dundalk back to the top of the table following a tight Terryland Park clash.
Both sides had chances in a lively first half, but all the main action
happened in the third quarter as Dundalk missed a penalty before
Dundalk suffered their first defeat of the season at the Morton Stadium on Friday, and they were especially eager to deliver a polished performance at Terryland Park.
In the build up to the game Ian Foster accepted that it would be a tricky test against his former club so Dundalk craved to make a lively start.
That is exactly what they did as Foster's new look 4-3-3 set up bothered a Galway outfit, who were unable to stitch any passing
patterns together early on.
Ross Gaynor fizzed in a ninth minute free kick for Gary Breen whose header went beyond Barry Ryan, but assistant referee Allen Lynch flagged for offside.
Twenty minutes in another Gaynor cross caused Galway bother, but Stephen Maher was unable to guide a header on target.
Galway improved as the opening period went on, but James Creaney and Karl Sheppard were both unable to test Peter Cherrie.
Dundalk, though, spurned a glorious chance in the 43rd minute when Faz Kuduzovic’s intelligent header released JJ Melligan, but the industrious midfielder was unable to supply the required finish.
The third quarter was packed with drama as Dundalk awarded a 55th minute penalty when Barry Ryan fouled Neale Fenn in the area.
Ryan made an excellent save to deny Fenn from the resultant spot-kick, and Gaynor then struck the timber moments later as Dundalk pushed forward in search of a goal.
It arrived in the 61st minute as Maher’s pass found Gaynor, who
steered Dundalk into the lead with a delicate finish.
Five minutes from the end of normal time Galway substitute Cian
McBrien was denied by a fingertip save from Cherrie.
Galway United: Barry Ryan; Conneely, Synott, McKenzie, Meynell; Bobby Ryan (King, 76), Foley, Curran (McBrien, 65), Creaney (O‘Brien, 73); Flood, Sheppard.
Dundalk: Cherrie; Kelly, G Breen, Burns, Hatswell; Miller, Melligan, Maher; Kutuzov (McGuigan, 88), Fenn (Murphy, 81), Gaynor.
Referee: P Sutton (Clare)