From Pete Kelly at Eamon Deacy Park
This was a classic Jekyll & Hyde performance from Galway United. They came from 1-0 down at the break to win comfortably with a totally dominant second half display against Wexford at Eamon Deacy Park.
The home side started with gusto in the opening five minutes, but then seemed to surrender the initiative to Wexford, who were never less than hard working. However the best chance of the opening 20 minutes fell to the veteran Alan Murphy but Kelan Murphy was equal to his hard hit volley. Conor Barry blasted the rebound high and wide.
Wexford drew strength from that let off and went ahead on 28 minutes through loanee Aaron Dobbs when he snuck in at the back post and scored with aplomb. Dobbs, on loan from Shamrock Rovers, had a cracking game all through for Wexford and surely has a bright future in the game.
Galway just could not seem to find their feet and Wexford easily saw out the half protecting their slender lead.
The home side had 45 minutes to save their season and there was an edge when they retook the field. Some players were struggling with their composure with McCormack in particular showing some angry moments. His fighting spirit and no little skill however is a hall mark of his game.
Shane Keegan’s patience lasted until the 58thminute when he sent on Carlton Ubaezuonu and Stephen Kenny – a clear show of intent to ‘go for it’. Four minutes later the changes paid off as a spell between the 62ndand 69thminutes yielded three goals for the home side.
First up Furlong got the deftest of touches to put Galway back on level terms, then Alan Murphy slotted in a penalty after McCormack was hauled down – meriting a red card for Ross Kenny. Three minutes later Ubaezuonu wrapped up the points with a rocket of a shot from just inside the box on the left.
The home side were now rampant while Wexford still stuck manfully to their task. Eoin McCormack got his just rewards on 87 minutes when he rose to head home from Shanahan’s cross. That cross came after a 70 metre run from Shanahan who was electric in the second period.
In the end Galway’s superior quality shone trough, but not before Wexford scared the life out of them in the opening half. Alan Murphy equalled Paul ‘Ski’ McGee’s league goal scoring record – remarkable as he has been away from league action for about six seasons.
Eoin McCormack shaded Gary Shanahan for man-of-the-match, while Shane Keegan showed courage to make changes early in the second half.
Wexford are looking at a difficult season but in Aaron Dobbs they have the services of one fine player.
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan, Gary Shanahan, Robbie Williams, Stephan Walsh, Marc Ludden, Maurice Nugent (Stephen Kenny 57), Ryan Connolly, Alan Murphy (Alex Byrne 87), Conor Barry (Carlton Ubaezuonu 57), Eoin McCormack, Danny Furlong
Subs not used:Arek Mamala, Conor Melody, Gary Kinneen, Conor Layng
Wexford FC: Kelan Gaffney, Sean Hurley, Ross Kenny, Mikey Byrne, Mark Slater, Aaron Dobbs Danny Doyle 83), Dean Kelly, Sean Kelly, Shane Barnes, Chris Kenny, AJ Lehane,
Subs not used:Colum Feeney, Owen Wall, Liam McCartan, Aaron O’Connor, Ryan Nolan, Dean George
Booked:Shane Barnes (29), Dean Kelly (41), Mikey Byrne (55)
Sent off:Ross Kenny (66)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match:Eoin McCormack
The slow mo for added effect! Great footage https://t.co/qQeQM4OJkD— Galway United (@GalwayUnitedFC) April 13, 2018