Jake Keegan’s second league goal of the season helped Galway United to continue their climb up the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table. After last night’s result, United are only 1 point behind Longford Town in 6th position.
In the 26th minute, the American drilled a powerful angled header past Derry City captain Ger Doherty, after Ryan Connolly located Keegan with a pin-point free kick that unlocked the Derry City defence. Keegan felt results like last night’s could shape the Tribesmen’s season.
“We spoke about how big the game was beforehand and we agreed that games like this can determine if we’re going to be near the bottom or up near Longford and Derry further up the table,” the New Yorker explained.
“Now we’re within touching distance and only a point separates us so hopefully we’ll continue to push on throughout the season and close the gap.
“First and foremost, our goal was to stay up but in the last weeks we’ve won three out of five and things are definitely looking up. Now we’re more than confident that 6th could be a realistic goal for sure.”
Galway United have only triumphed on 3 occasions at the Brandywell before last night’s win and Keegan recognised the significance of the result and the confidence it will bring.
“The Brandywell is a very difficult venue to play at,” Keegan told www.galwayunitedfc.ie
“The atmosphere is great, the pitch has a slope and obviously then there’s the four hour drive from Galway so there’s a lot of factors that go into it.
“We were missing a lot of players last night. It was a great team performance and everybody banded together. Coming off the pitch, it felt like it didn’t matter what the eleven was, as long as we had eleven, I felt we were going to win the match.”
Keegan has been operating in a wide berth for United in 2015 but he insists he’s happy to play wherever the manager needs him.
“To be honest, I’m a little bit disappointed I haven’t scored more goals,” he conceded.
“Last year, I started a little slowly so hopefully I can go on a similar run to last year. If I’m playing and the team is doing well, I’ll be happy.
“Playing on the wing is a bit different and there’s a different set of responsibilities, I haven’t really played there consistently but I’m getting the positioning and the little things and I’m understanding my role a bit better as I go.”
Next week Galway United face a double-header against Bohemians in the league and the quarter-final of the EA SPORTS Cup, Keegan is relishing both ties against the Gypsies.
“It’s a great opportunity for everyone. Hopefully we’ll get good crowds at Eamonn Deacy Park on both nights.
“Bohs are doing very well this year, they’re third now, it should be a difficult challenge but one that I think we’re up to. We can build on the Derry City performance and get a couple of bodies back and hopefully get two good results.”