Airtricity Premier Division: Galway Utd 2-1 Derry City

Rory Patterson (centre)
Rory Patterson (centre) netted his first goal of the season for Derry City

Derry City wasted the chance to move back into third spot in the League of Ireland table after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Galway United.

The Candystripes were punished for poor defending at set-pieces for both of Galway's goals.

Kevin Devaney put Galway ahead on 14 minutes before Rory Patterson levelled with his first goal of the season just after the half-hour mark.

However, Sean Folan headed in Galway's winner 11 minutes from time.

While Derry had a penalty claim turned down in the second half after Ben Doherty was bundled over in the Galway box, the home side just about deserved their victory over a Candystripes outfit playing their first game in almost four weeks.

Marc Ludden had an outstanding match for Galway with his strong running and excellent delivery at set-pieces a constant threat while striker Ronan Murray was also impressive for the home side.

Lukas Schubert and Harry Monaghan were both unable to curb wide player Ludden with defender Eoin Toal the pick of the Derry players.

McEneff badly missed in Derry midfield

The suspended Aaron McEneff's presence was badly missed by a Derry side also minus Darren Cole, Nathan Boyle and Dean Jarvis because of illness and injury.

With Galway starting with a 3-5-2 formation, Derry's central midfielders Nicky Lowe and Barry McNamee were outnumbered in the engine room early on as Galway looked the better side.

Devaney put Galway ahead after the Derry defence had failed to deal with a long throw although the Candystripes threatened an immediate riposte as both Patterson and Schubert, from an over-head kick, went close.

Patrick Cunningham wasted a glorious chance to extend Galway's lead following great work by Murray before Patterson levelled after home keeper Conor Winn had failed to deal with a Barry McNamee cross.

Doherty's penalty shout came just after the restart but Galway then began to take a stranglehold on the contest as Murray shot into the side-netting before Folan's headed winner on 79 minutes after Ludden's corner.

Despite five minutes of injury-time being played, Derry never really looked like getting on terms and they remain a point behind third-placed Shamrock Rovers.

Galway's win boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop as they moved above Sligo Rovers into 10th spot, with Rovers facing Finn Harps on Saturday in a game which will have a major bearing on the relegation picture.