Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Galway United kept their play-off hopes alive on Friday night as two goals from Conor Barry helped them to a 3-2 win over Cabinteely at Eamonn Deacy Park.
It didn’t take long to see a goal in this one with the home side taking the lead just seconds after the referee’s whistle.
Marc Ludden struck a cross to Gary Shanahan at the far side of the Cabinteely and goal the midfielder headed the ball deftly down and into Eoin McCormack.
McCormack controlled the ball well and, with little pressure on him and just a yard from the goal, he simply tapped the ball past Stephen McGuinness to give his side the lead.
With almost 20 minutes gone neither team had created any real chances barring Galway’s one clear cut chance which led to their goal.
Cabo got their first half chance from a Kevin Knight cross but Jack Tuite’s header was far too soft and inaccurate to bother Tadhg Ryan.
On the half-hour the crowd got to see a second decent chance as Barry did not fancy hesitating when he got a hold of the ball on the right flank and he whipped the ball straight into the box.
Carlton Ubaezuonu made great efforts to make up the ground between himself and the ball but with the midfielder at full stretch, and the goal at his mercy, his header went wide of the Cabinteely goal.
Not a team to claim many clean sheets, it was always in the script that Galway would concede at least on goal, they did just that in the later stages of the first half after abandoning their defensive duties momentarily.
Alan Murphy’s men pushed far too high into the Cabo half and a Marty Waters clearance found Joe Doyle all on his own in the Galway half.
Chris Horgan tried in vain to get across to block but Doyle was composed and finished well past Tadhg Ryan.
The lead lasted just two minutes as a long ball into the Cabo half found McCormack and Barry, though there was some confusion between the two players as to who should take the ball.
Barry took charge of the situation, took aim and fired the ball from distance into the bottom corner to put his side ahead for the second time.
Just five minutes after the restart United tried their level best to add to their lead. Marc Ludden took one of his trademark long throw in from the left wing.
The ball left his hands like a bullet towards Robbie Williams who flicked the ball well with his head but Stephen McGuinness was equal to it and tipped the ball over the bar.
Moments later United got that additional goal. Barry struck his second goal of the night after some great link up play with McCormack.
McCormack was under severe pressure from the Cabinteely defence before playing a clever ball to Barry, who had a free run on goal.
McGuinness had no chance as the former Athlone Town player struck the ball into the corner of the net.
Barry came within an inch of claiming his hat-trick later in the second half.
The midfielder was in possession of the ball in the Cabinteely box and he jinked passed a couple of defenders before blasting an effort at the goal, but his effort smashed the crossbar and denied him his tenth goal of the season.
Cabo tried to get back into it and Marty Waters made a great dash up the field to play a ball to substitute Luke Clucas on the left flank.
He played a lovely cross onto the head of Joe Doyle but the resulting header was struck wide of the goal.
Waters was the man involved again in his side’s search for another goal to grab what turned out to be a consolation goal for the away side going into the dying minutes of the game.
United failed to deal with a goalmouth scramble, with Tadhg Ryan making several saves before Waters finally managed to bundle the ball over the line.
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Marc Ludden, Robbie Williams, Stephen Walsh, Christopher Horgan; Alex Byrne, Gary Shanahan (Ronan Manning, 76), Carlton Ubaezuonu (Wilson Waweru, 87), Conor Barry, Alan Murphy; Eoin McCormack (Danny Furlong, 70).
Subs not used: Conor Gleeson, Aaron Conway, Dara Mulgannon, Adam Rooney,.
Cabinteely: Stephen McGuinness; Karl Byrne, Kevin Knight, Joe Doyle, Keith Dalton (Daniel Blackbyrne, 73); Marty Waters, Jack Tuite, Sean Fitzpatrick (Luke Clucas 69), Adam Maher; Zack O’Neill, Andy O’Reilly (Eoin Morgan, 68).
Subs not used: Finn McGowan, Robert McGee, Karl Manahan, Jack Hudson.
Referee: Eoin O’Shea
Attendance: 600 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Conor Barry