EA Cup QF
Date: 7:45 p.m. May 18, 2009
Venue: Terryland Park
United were reduced to ten when defender Garry Breen was sent off early in the second half and the visitors exploited the advantage to the max as goals in the 65th and 85th minutes handed them a spot in the final four of the knockout competition.
It was a tough result for Galway, who could lay claim to having the best part of the contest up until Breen’s departure, although neither side could justify boasting about their performance in a match that cruised listlessly almost from start to finish and failed to capture the imagination.
Galway United manager Ian Foster had kept faith with the starting 11 who had guided the side to its 3-0 league win against Bray Wanderers the Friday prior, the only change coming on the bench where Derek Rogers returned from a one-match suspension.
Division one leaders UCD meanwhile, had made wholesale changes to their squad with six different names on the team sheet to that which played out a scoreless draw against Waterford on Friday.
Goal keeper Billy Brennan, defenders Michael Leahy and Ciaran Nangle, midfielder John Dineen and strikers Peter McMahon and Timmy Purcell were all named in the starting team, Ciaran Kilduff not in the squad.
A meagre Monday night crowd greeted the two sides out onto the pitch and they witnessed a relatively inauspicious start, the highlight of the opening ten minutes being a slight chance for Vinny Faherty, after he almost managed to deflect in a cross from O’Shea following a corner which was only partially cleared by the UCD defence.
David Cooke went close minutes later before Russell and Michael McGrath set O’Shea up perfectly, but his shot caught a slight deflection.
Neither side had anything to boast about as the first half dwindled on, Galway looking the stronger side, but not able to convert possession into points. UCD’s first real opportunity did not come until 35 minutes had expired when Evan McMillan attempted to head in a corner from Ronan Finn from dead in front, but Barry Ryan stood his ground to make the point blank save.
It was the last of any real action of the opening 45 minutes and the 0-0 scoreline remained at the break.
It was an equally bleak start to the second half, and all signs were pointing to a scoreless draw until trouble struck for Galway eleven minutes into the new term. A careless error from Breen saw him as the last man back, tripping Ciaran Nangle on his way down the left wing and referee Padraig Sutton wasted little time in showing him a red card as United were reduced to ten men.
And UCD were quick to capitalise on their one-man advantage as they took the lead just nine minutes later through midfielder Chris Mulhall. Defender Mark O’Toole had been bought on as Breen’s replacement in the backline and made the error which set up the goal, having a very poor touch about 35 yards out with substitute David McMillan reclaiming it for the visitors. He passed forward to Keith Ward who cut it back inside to an unmarked Mulhall and he made no mistake with the one on one against Ryan.
United started to dig for the equaliser, O’Shea leading the charge and having a prime opportunity when given a free kick at the top of the box. It curled straight into the arms of ‘keeper Billy Brennan though.
But the nail was driven into the coffin five minutes from fulltime at the expense of a United own goal. UCD’s Peter McMahon took a shot from out wide on the left and it took a big deflection off Shane Guthrie to fly into goal and put the visitors 2-0 ahead, a result they clung onto until the close.
Galway United: Barry Ryan, Seamus Conneely, Garry Breen, Shane Guthrie, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Jay O’Shea, John Russell (Derek O’Brien, 71mins), Cian McBrien, David Cooke, Michael McGrath, Vinny Faherty Subs not used: Mark O’Toole, Derek O’Brien, Declan Edwards, Jason Molloy, Ger Hanley
UCD: Billy Brennan, Brian Shortall, Michael Leahy, Evan McMillan, Chris Nangle, Keith Ward (James Timmons, 83mins), John Dineen (David McMillan, h-t), Ronan Finn, Chris Mulhall, Timmy Purcell (Michael Kelly, 54mins), Peter McMahon Subs not used: Luke Hardy, James Timmons, Gerard Barrow
Referee: P Sutton (Cork)