Galway United 1-0 Dundalk
SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders suffered a surprise defeat against a determined Galway United side at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Having advanced to the UEFA Champions League play-off round following Tuesday’s win over BATE Borisov, Dundalk were beaten by Tommy Dunne’s well organised outfit in the west.
Galway hit the front on the stroke of half-time when Vinny Faherty headed home a precise Stephen Walsh cross.
In the second half the hosts were put under severe duress, but they held out to secure a morale-boosting success.
Galway goalkeeper Conor Winn had to be alert early on as Dundalk went close twice inside the opening six minutes.
Winn pushed away a Darren Meenan in the fifth minute and from the resultant corner hesitant Galway defending was nearly punished.
Meenan’s corner caused panic in the area as Ciaran Kilduff climbed high to connect with the delivery, but the Tribesmen eventually managed to hack the ball to safety.
With Robbie Benson effective in midfield Dundalk controlled the opening quarter against a Galway outfit that was grafting well.
Still, for all of Galway’s energy it was the visitors who continued to ask questions, with Meenan and Daryl Horgan craving involvement in wide areas.
In the 33rd minute a Daryl Horgan free-kick was gathered by Winn with the Lilywhites keen to land a blow.
As the interval approached Galway went close when Ryan Connolly’s clever 42nd minute free-kick was hooked over the bar by Stephen Folan.
Then on the stroke of half-time Dundalk were stunned when Stephen Walsh’s splendid cross was expertly headed home by Vinny Faherty.
After the restart Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny introduced prolific striker David McMillan to partner Kilduff in attack.
Chris Shields flashed an effort over the bar in the 61st minute, while a crisp Benson attempt drifted narrowly wide.
In the last minute substitute John Mountney’s corner was headed over by Ciaran Kilduff and Galway earned the full complement of spoils.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Armin Aganovic, Stephen Folan, Stephen Walsh; Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne (Jose Garcia, 69), Paul Sinnott, Kevin Devaney (Marc Ludden, 83); Ryan Connolly; Vinny Faherty (Enda Curran, 75).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Paddy Barrett, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Stephen O'Donnell, 62); Darren Meenan (John Mountney, 75), Patrick McEleney (David McMillan, 58), Robbie Benson, Daryl Horgan; Ciaran Kilduff.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).