Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Galway United and Longford Town played out an entertaining 0-0 draw on Friday night. Neither side managed to break the deadlock on a night which included plenty of over and back and even some floodlight failure.
Stephen Walsh nearly gifted a goal to the visitors early on when he decided to boot a crossed ball into the air when it would have been easier to take it down. The ball shot into the air not too far away from the goal line and Tadhg Ryan had to scramble to ensure his side didn’t concede a soft goal with Longford attackers quickly swarming around the young keeper.
Ryan Connolly nearly had the home side put in front when he struck a pin point ball over the defence to Eoin McCormack. The striker did well to take the ball onto his chest but his strike at the ball only caught the air and The Tribesmen couldn’t capitalise on an early chance.
With a half an hour gone Shane Keegan will have been cursing another spurned chance when Stephen Kenny expertly got in behind the Longford defence and across the base line. The midfielder played a teasing ball across the box that was just asking to be hammered into the net but no one was in position to send it home. In the resulting scramble around the box Carlton Ubaezuonu teed up Ryan Connolly but the captain blasted his effort over the bar.
Longford Town had a long range effort of their own minutes later as they struggled to really test the home side in the first half. Aodh Dervin played a ball across to Karl Chambers outside the box but his long low effort rolled just wide of Tadhg Ryan’s goal.
Danny Furlong almost added to his impressive early season goal tally when Eoin McCormack set him up with a tidy header inside the box. Furlong was being hassled in tight space by the Longford defence but still managed to take the ball down on his chest and get a shot off but Mick Kelly got down and clutched the ball into his chest.
The second half started with plenty of concern for Galway with Sam Verdon and Chris Mulhall both having chances early on. Mulhall came within inches of putting the visitors ahead but his effort was dragged just wide with plenty of pressure from the Galway defence around him.
The Tribesmen replied with a great move that started with a lovely long ball from Stephen Walsh into the path of Marc Ludden. Ludden played a cross right to McCormack’s feet and his shot had the home fans on their feet cheering what looked like a dead cert of a goal but somehow his effort escaped the net and went wide.
Both sides got a breather on the 53rd minute when the dreaded floodlight troubles hit Eamonn Deacy Park as one of the floodlight stacks cut out. Seven tense minutes followed but ultimately referee Damien MacGraith allowed the teams to play on.
Maurice Nugent got out of jail after Sam Verdon stole the ball off the defender who was the last man back. Verdon drove forward alone as he faced the advancing Tadhg Ryan but the midfielder’s effort was poor and trailed wide of the goal.
11 minutes were added at the end of this one. Plenty of time for either side to take charge of the game. United went very close when Stephen Walsh struck a lovely cross into the box and Eoin McCormack glanced a header down to Furlong who had the chance to put his side ahead but his effort went across the goal and wide.
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Marc Ludden, Stephen Walsh, Maurice Nugent, Gary Shanahan; Stephen Kenny (Conor Barry, 99), Alex Byrne, Ryan Connolly, Carlton Ubaezuonu (Conor Melody, 99), Eoin McCormack, Danny Furlong.
Subs not used: Arek Mamala, Aaron Conway, Gary Kinneen, Conor Layng, Alan Murphy.
Booked: Ryan Connolly (44)
Longford Town: Mick Kelly; Shane Elworthy (Adam O’Connor, 99), Tristan Noack Hofmann, Daniel O’Reilly, Karl Chambers; Dean Zambra, Chris Mulhall (Dean Byrne, 90), Sam Verdon, Evan Galvin; Michael McDonnell, Aodh Dervin.
Subs not used: Jack Brady, Peter Hopkins, Cian Byrne, Jamie Hollywood, Jackson Ryan.
Booked: Aodh Dervin (67), Karl Chambers (79)
Referee: Damien MacGraith
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Aodh Dervin (Longford Town)