Galway United 1-1 Drogheda United

Galway United produced a gutsy and spirited display to earn a vital SSE Aitricity League Premier Division point as they drew 1-1 with Drogheda United at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Forced to start with three Under-19 players due to an injury and suspension crisis, Galway took a shock lead in the 45th minute as tireless attacker Jake Keegan guided Tommy Dunne's side ahead.

Drogheda were left reflecting on several missed chances but Mick Daly finally levelled for the visitors in the 70th minute with a firm header following a Sean Thornton free-kick.

A youthful Galway outfit missed a third minute opportunity when Samuel Oji failed to make the necessary connection with an inviting Antaine O'Laoi corner.

With Sean Thornton supplying the midfield guile, Drogheda dominated the first quarter, squandering a string of decent chances. Michael Daly's fifth-minute delivery was headed wide by Thornton as Drogheda sought to land an early blow.

Then Galway custodian Ger Hanley had to be alert when making a save from Lee Duffy in the 10th minute as the home team were being put under pressure.

In the 13th minute, Daly headed a Thornton free-kick over the bar as Johnny McDonnell's charges controlled the contest.

Galway pushed forward and midfielder David O'Leary forced Michael Schlingermannto make a fine reflex save from a curling 23rd minute free-kick.

At the opposite end, Hanley denied Jason Marks and Tiarnan Mulvenna in quick succession as Drogheda continued to probe. 

But the visitors were stunned on the stroke of half-time when Galway took a shock lead as Conor Melody's header caused confusion in the Drogheda defence and Keegan pounced.

After the restart, Drogheda tested Hanley, who again did well to deny Robert O'Reilly in the 52nd minute following other efforts from Alan Byrne and Duffy which drifted wide.

Keegan was a threat for Galway, controlling an O'Leary pass before unleashing a shot that Schlingermann gathered in the 62nd minute.

Parity was restored in the 70th minute when Daly climbed highest in the area to head home a delightful Thornton free-kick.

In the final minute, Thornton headed wide as Drogheda pushed for a winner, but Galway held out to secure a share of the spoils.

Galway United: Ger Hanley; Cormac Raftery, Samuel Oji, Alex Byrne, Paul Sinnott; Gary Shanahan, David O’Leary, Aran McConnell, Antaine O’Laoi; Conor Melody; Jake Keegan.
Subs not used: Conor Winn, Kevin Horgan, Conor Barry, Maurice Nugent, Moise Assogna, Ian Collins.

Drogheda United: Michael Schlingermann; Mick Daly, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Joe Gorman; Stephen Maher; Tiarnan Mulvenna, Mark Hughes, Sean Thornton, Jason Marks; Lee Duffy (Robert McKenna, 87).
Subs not used: Evin Farrell, Sean Brennan, Ger Pender, Adam Whelan, Sam McGowan, Lloyd Buckley.

Referee: G Kelly (Cork).