Paul Corcoran reports from Eamon Deacy Park
Galway United and Wexford played out a 1-1 draw in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night in a game where neither side had anything to play for.
Dean George grabbed a fine goal for the visitors before second half substitute Carlton Ubaezuonu equalised for The Tribesmen. Corey Chambers proved crucial in earing Wexford a point as he saved Colin Kelly’s late penalty kick.
The opening 15 minutes were a dour affair with only one half chance coming from Colin Kelly, one of manager Alan Murphy’s several youngsters gaining experience around the first team in recent weeks.
Kelly blazed down the wing and attempted a sly chip of Corey Chambers in the Wexford goal but he couldn’t nudge the ball over the ‘keeper and the chance came to nothing.
With so little of note happening in the game the first reaction from the crowd finally came with over 20 minutes gone. Dean George threaded a nice ball through towards Aaron Dobbs but Stephen Walsh was there to make the routine interception drawing applause from the home crowd.
With a half an hour gone, Donal Higgins tried to inject some life into this game. Taking hold of the ball in the box the 17-year-old turned sharply in the box twice to avoid the Wexford defence. The midfielder got his shot off eventually but it was a tame effort and caused no trouble to the Wexford goal.
The Tribesmen started to put some good play together and they weren’t too far away from taking the lead. Dara Costelloe swung a perfect ball across the field to Conor Barry inside the Wexford box. Barry tried to stick it past Chambers with a header but the midfielder couldn’t get the power on his effort.
Just before half time Wexford took the lead. The goal came somewhat against the run of play with the visitors playing idle football for most of the half. Dean George had the run of the park as he carried the ball forward with a sluggish Galway defence reluctant to close the forward down. George saw his opportunity and unloaded a shot into the corner of Tadhg Ryan’s goal to put his side ahead.
Galway drew level just after the hour mark. Carlton Ubaezuonu wasn’t long on the pitch, having just replaced Dara Mulgannon moments before. Colin Kelly struck a corner kick deep into the Wexford box and the winger rose highest in the box and smashed the ball just under the crossbar for his fourth First Division goal of the season.
Donal Higgins had a couple of opportunities to win this one for The Tribesmen. The midfielder had a great effort from outside the box deflected out for a corner. From that resulting corner he came very close to scoring when Corey Chambers got caught out in no man’s land but the keeper still managed to make the save.
Late on in the game Owen McCormack was deemed to have fouled Conor Barry in the box and the refereed awarded The Tribesmen a penalty despite the protests of the away side. 16-year-old Colin Kelly stood over the ball with a great opportunity to get his first goal in senior football. The spot kick was saved with Corey Chambers keeping the ball out of the net once again for Wexford.
In injury time The Tribesmen were mere inches from snatching a winner. Stephen Walsh ploughed forward deep into the Wexford half and the defender played a perfect ball into substitute Wilson Waweru but the midfielder’s header bounced just wide of the goal leaving the sides with a share of the points.
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Stephen Walsh, Chris Horgan, Alex Byrne, Adam Rooney; Dara Costelloe (Conor Melody 60), Donal Higgins (Wilson Waweru 78), Dara Mulgannon (Carlton Ubaezuonu 60), Conor Barry, Ryan Connolly; Colin Kelly.
Subs not Used: Connor Gleeson, Robbie Williams, Sean Russell, Alan Murphy.
Booked:Alex Byrne (22), Stephen Walsh (69)
Wexford:Corey Chambers; Conor Sutton, Ross Kenny, Owen McCormack, Dean George; Dean Walsh (Adham Masood 70), Sean Kelly, Liam McCartan, John Morgan; Danny Doyle, Aaron Dobbs (Craig O’Reilly 83).
Subs not used: Colum Feeney, Sean Smithers, Vincent Quinlan.
Booked:Owen McCormack (85)
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Corey Chambers (Wexford)
FULL-TIME | Honours even at Eamonn Deacy Park as a youthful Galway United put in a much-improved second half performance in which they were unlucky not to net a winner. #GUFC pic.twitter.com/TrF7e49GlO— Galway United (@GalwayUnitedFC) September 14, 2018