Galway United v St. Patrick's Athletic in Pictures - by Declan Furey
It proved to be a tough start to the season for Galway United on Friday night as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of St Patrick’s Athletic at Terryland Park.
While the scoreline may have flattered the visitors there was no doubt that on the night they were the superior side, both physically and in terms of their ability on the ball. While the sides went into the break scoreless, a quick start from the visitors after the break meant that after an hour they had gained a comfortable two goal cushion. St Pat’s third coming in the final minute of the game from a slashed cross which flittered over Greg Fleming’s head and into the far corner of the Galway net.
While the final score may have looked more impressive than Pat’s deserved, their quality and fitness were the qualities that finally won them this match. After a combative first half in which both sides battled for chances and possession, neither came out on top. David McMillan had the most notable strike on target when he was played through on goal but sent his shot blazing over the bar from a tight angle.
With both sides struggling to create chances a cobbled together Galway side struggled to gain any momentum yet, with the creativity of Bobby Ryan on the right and the left foot of Karl Moore on the opposite side, United looked threatening from out wide. Midfielder Sean Kelly had their best chance of the half when he shot agonisingly wide of the post from long range after good work down the left from the impressive Moore.
Their weakness however was there for all to see as they lacked the penetration and physical attributes needed up front. Joseph Yoffe, who has played in Canada and for FC United of Manchester, looks set to become the focal point of the Galway attack this season yet it will take time for him to adapt to the game this side of the water.
After half time there was a renewed sense of urgency among the St Pat’s players. Their manager Pete Mahon had them fired up and raring to go and the visitors had taken the lead just two minutes after the break.
Galway’s captain for the night, Shaun Maher, allowed the ball bounce just outside his own box giving Daryl Kavanagh the chance to sneak in and square the ball for Anto Murphy who made no mistake in powering the ball past the helpless United keeper.
While the home side tried to battle back, concentration was lost again at a long throw and Fleming, who had struggled under the high ball all night, was left floundering in the box while the unmarked David McMillan tapped in at the back post.
While the away side maintained their composure and sought to see out the match they did manage to grab a third in the last minute of normal time. Right back Derek Pender sent a cross into the box which eluded everybody and managed to sneak into the far top corner of Greg Fleming’s goal.
As the St Pat’s fans head back to Dublin tonight they can rest easy with the three points in the bag and another promising performance to build on. But it was a disappointing night for home fans as their newly assembled squad struggled at times to gel. However, if there is one thing we can be sure of it is that Sean Connor will be working towards getting his team organised and fighting for each other.
Galway United: Greg Fleming; Shaun Kelly, Shaun Maher, Stephen Feeney, Stephen Walsh; Bobby Ryan (Gary Kelly, 80), Gary Curran, Sean Kelly, Karl Moore; Neal Keane (Enda Curran, 43), Joseph Yoffe (Brian Cash, 63).
Subs not used: Conor Winn, Eduardo Dusi, Rory Gartlan, Paul Smith.
Bookings: Keane (27), Walsh (67), E Curran (82), G Curran (91).
St Patrick's Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Brian Shorthall (Ian Bermingham, 71), Conor Kenna, Evan McMillan; Anto Murphy (Ian Daly, 66), Dave Mulcahy, Shane McFaul, Derek Doyle (Jordan Keegan, 89); David McMillan, Daryl Kavanagh.
Subs not used: Chris Bennion, Neil Harney, Sean Stewart, James O’Brien.
Bookings: Bermingham (80), Kenna (83).
Referee: Padraigh Sutton.
ExtraTime Man of the Match: Anto Murphy.