By Pete Kelly at Eamon Deacy Park
Galway United took a significant towards securing their Premier league status with a thrilling 3-1 win over Sligo Rovers in the Connacht derby at Eamon Deacy Park.
The home side swung into action from the first whistle and totally dominating the opening period with David Cawley blasting over the goal and Ronan Murray crashing a great free kick off the crossbar from 25 yards.
Sligo took the lead on 14 minutes in somewhat bizarre circumstances totally against the run of play. Kyle McFadden blasted home after first having a ‘fresh air’ shot with his first effort.
To their credit, Galway did not lie down and although a little shell shocked, they looked to keep possession at every opportunity, with Rory Hale showing some deft passing touches in the midfield.
Raff Cretaro came into the game after 34 minutes replacing Greg Moorhouse – once a hero at Eamon Deacy Park - he was given the ‘bird’ by the home fans but what a player he has been for both Sligo and Galway.
The home side were slowly sneaking back into the game and following an off target volley by Ludden after 37 minutes, the same player equalised just before half time.
He was a little fortunate that the ball fell into his path, but he had set up the move himself and deserved his slice of luck.
That equaliser just before the break allowed the Tribesmen to approach the second half with new vigour. With Rory Hale and Cawley holding sway in midfield, the Bit O’Red threats were becoming less and less.
Seamus Sharkey showed his frustration on 55 minutes when picking up a yellow for a crazy tackle, but home side did not make any use of the free. Six minutes later Cretaro also saw yellow, injuring himself in the tackle which would ultimately see him replaced.
Galway were well on top at this stage and six minute later, Kevin Devanney score a ‘goal of a lifetime’ when he curled one in ‘Alexis Sanchez’ style into the top corner. Alex Byrne’s great tackle inside his own half set the move in motion and Devanney made no mistake.
Deacy Park went wild three minutes later when Gavan Holohan wrapped up the points as he rounded of a passing movement, calmly slotting the ball to the net from 12 yards.
The remaining minutes of the game were dominated by the home side, with Sligo looking a bit ragged and never really threatening to get back in it.
Galway United: Conor Winn, Alex Byrne, Steve Folan Colm Horgan, Kevin Devanney, Rory Hale (Conor Melody 88), Gavan Holohan, David Cawley, Marc Ludden (Gary Shanahan 84), Padraic Cunningham (Eoin McCormack 64), Ronan Murray.
Subs not used: Charlie Burns, Paul Sinnott, Declan Sharkey, Ronan Manning.
Sligo Rovers: Shaun Patton, Gary Boylan, Kyle McFadden, Seamus Sharkey, Regan Donelon, Jamie McDonagh, Chris Kenny (Benny Igiehon 75) Rhys McCabe, Daniel Kearns, Vinny Faherty, Greg Moorhouse ( Raff Cretaro 34) [Russell for Cretaro 61].
Subs not used: Edward McGinty, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Jack Keaney.
Booked: Seamus Sharkey, Raffaele Cretaro, Gary Boylan.
Referee: Jim McKell
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Marc Ludden