Galway FC progressed to the third round of the FAI Ford Cup following a three one triumph over Premier Division outfit UCD at the UCD Bowl.
Galway took the lead through Jason Molloy before Stephen Walsh doubled their advantage before the hour mark. Robbie Creevy got one back for the Students before Jake Keegan wrapped things up in stoppage time for the men from the west.
In an opening ten minutes where the main action was a group of Galway fans singing there is only one Paula Brady (the Lineswoman), it felt like the horrors of last Friday at the Bowl may have been coming home to roost.
Midway through the first half, the ears of the disgruntled public sprang up as Galway finally found an opening in the UCD defence.
Ryan Connolly played a long diagonal pass over UCD defender Hugh Douglas and into the path of Stephen Walsh. He controlled before lofting the ball over Conor O’Donnell. It went high over the crossbar as well though and away to safety.
On the half hour mark Galway took a deserved lead. Walsh picked up the ball from a Connolly pass before picking out a beautiful pass. Molloy latched onto it and after sizing up his options he elected to blast the ball across a helpless O’Donnell into the top corner; a great finish to a fine Westerners move.
It may well have been two for Galway moments later and again Walsh was at the heart of it. He was played through by Jake Keegan and drove into the box before unleashing a stinging drive which beat O’Donnell. Luckily for the UCD keeper the ball rattled the crossbar before rebounding away for a goal kick.
Just moments before the interval Walsh’s impressive first half outing almost enjoyed the perfect climax. Molloy was again the provider with another fine through ball.
Ian Ryan and Hugh Douglas got tangled up to allow Walsh in and he was inches from making them pay, his effort smashing off the post with O’Donnell beaten.
Molloy was having an industrious first half himself and he again went close to being the provider for a second Galway goal when his cross was headed into the side netting by the onrushing Gary Shanahan.
The second half began in a strikingly similar fashion to the first. With nothing happening on the field and the rambling of fans the only form of entertainment.
One of the two men who had changed that in the first half was again on hand to try and spring the game into life. Walsh picked up the ball in space midway inside the Students half and looked twice to find a defence splitting pass for a teammate. But when that did not seem on he elected to shoot. The shot was struck well but O’Donnell got down well to parry it to safety.
Just before the hour mark Galway doubled their advantage. Molloy took on Matthews down the left wing and, after beating him, drove toward the end line. When he got there, he delicately cut the ball back into the path of Walsh who finished with aplomb, the ball flying past O’Donnell to give the Clarets (In white) a deserved second.
The Students gave themselves a lifeline just over 20 minutes from time. Robbie Benson swung in a left footed free kick from the right to set up the chance.
Ian Ryan, back in the starting lineup after injury, headed the ball across goal. He found the unmarked sub Creevy inside the six yard box and he did the deed, poking home past a diving Gleeson.
Galway remained on top in terms of chances and it was Walsh again at the centre of all the good. Jake Keegan fed him the ball through before the orange boot wielding forward forced a fine save out of O’Donnell.
Galway did put the game beyond their hosts in stoppage time when Keegan broke through the UCD defence before calmly slotting the ball under O’Donnell to confirm his sides progression to the last 16.
UCD: Conor O'Donnell; Gareth Matthews, Ian Ryan, Hugh Douglas, Mark Langtry (Michael Barker 55) ; Barry McCabe, Robbie Benson, Gary Burke, Chris Mulhall (Dwayne Wilson 84), Thomas O'Halloran(Robbie Creevy 65) ; Samir Belhout
Subs not used: Niall Corbet (GK), Tomas Boyle, Colm Crowe.
Galway FC: Conor Gleeson; Marty Owens, Martin Conneely, Alex Byrne, Colm Horgan; Gary Shanahan, Ryan Connolly, Paul Sinnott, Jason Molloy (Derek O’Brien 73) ; Jake Keegan (Aaron McDonagh 90+3), Stephen Walsh (Vinny Faherty 84)
Subs not used: Ger Hanley (gk), Cian Fadden, Ross Kenny, Robbie Egan.
Referee: David McKeon
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Stephen Walsh (Galway FC).