Goals from Jonah Ayunga and Eoin McCormack put Galway United through to the last eight of the FAI Cup as they defeated St. Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Friday Night.
It was the Tribesmen who started the brightest with loan signing Jonah Ayunga at the centre of the Galway attack in the early minutes. Gavan Holohan came closest with an effort from the left which just went past Barry Murphy’s right hand post.
Shane Keegan’s side opened the scoring as good running from captain Colm Horgan down the left got him into a good crossing position to tee up Jonah Ayunga who beat Michael Barker to the ball to tap in past Barry Murphy.
The Saint’s nearly equalized moments later as a corner from Billy Dennehy found Ian Bermingham unmarked on the edge of the box but he could only direct his effort onto the post of the Galway goal.
Conor Winn in the Galway goal almost had a moment to forget as his misplaced punch from a corner went straight into the path of Killian Brennan who had a good amount of the target to aim at but his left footed volley went straight over the bar.
Winn was called into action once again just before the break as good play from J.J Lunney cutting in from the right gave him to space to hit a curler with his left foot but the Galway keeper was equal to it diving to the top corner making an impressive fingertip save.
Liam Buckley’s side came out of the blocks fast in the opening minutes of the second half resulting in four corners in the space of two minutes with Captain Ian Birmingham close once again as his downward header was cleared off the line by Paul Sinnott.
The constant pressure from the Saints died down quickly as Galway started to get a foot hold in the game and started to create attacks of their own with a Gavan Holohan effort once again forcing Barry Murphy to save only gathering the ball at the second attempt.
Pats started to take control of the game once again coming into the final twenty minutes as they knocked on the door to try and find a leveller, but the Galway defence were standing up to what Liam Buckley’s side were throwing at them with some vital interceptions and blocks denying them.
The Tribesmen had a chance to wrap the game up two minutes from time as a ball from Conor Melody found Eoin McCormack in acres of space, Barry Murphy did well to close the angle down and McCormack chipped effort just rolled past the right hand post.
Moments later Shane Keegan’s side did get a second goal as Eoin McCormack pick up the ball in space and hit a fantastic right footed shot which flew past Barry Murphy into the top corner to the delight of the Galway support.The game ended in a 2-0 victory for The Tribesmen who advance to the quarter-finals draw.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy; Lee Desmond, Michael Barker(Josh O’Hanlon 87), Jordi Balk, Ian Bermingham; Graham Kelly, Killian Brennan, Christy Fagan, J.J Lunney(Kurtis Byrne 76); Conan Byrne, Billy Dennehy (Ian Turner 78)
Subs not used: Lukas Skowron, Rory Feely, Darragh Markey, Alex O’Hanlon
Bookings: Graham Kelly (60)
Galway United: Conor Winn; Paul Sinnott, Gavan Holohan, Ronan Murray, Colm Horgan; Stephen Folan, Rory Hale(Conor Melody 84), Jonah Ayunga(Eoin McCormack 45), Alex Byrne; Aaron Conway, Kevin Devaney (Gary Shanahan 28)
Subs not used: Charlie Burns, Ronan Manning, Podraic Cunningham, Declan Sharkey
Bookings: Colm Horgan (34) Ronan Murray (80)
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
Man of the Match: Paul Sinnott (Galway)