Date: 7:45 p.m. May 1, 2009
Venue: Terryland Park
Ian Foster recalled Sean Kelly to the starting line-up in the only change from last week's loss to Cork, while St Pats one change was an enforced one, with David Partridge replacing the suspended Jason Gavin. As expected, Jeff Kenna got a "warm" reception from one section of the home crowd, but also a polite round of applause from those in the Corribside stand.
Ryan Guy partnered Mark Quigley up front for the visitors, while Ian Foster re-jigged his side, with Dave Cooke, previously stationed in centre midfield, moved wide on the right wing with Jay O'Shea playing in a free role just behind Vinny Faherty. It was a tactical ploy that paid dividends within five minutes when Cooke found space on the right and sent in an inviting ball which Jamie Harris decided to send behind from a corner.
O'Shea whipped in a low corner from the right which evaded all bar Garry Breen, who diverted home from close range for his second goal of the season and Galway's sixth that has emanated from dead-ball situations this campaign. With O'Shea lively and getting on the ball in the opening quarter, the home side pressed for a second, with the visitors only meaningful effort being Jamie Harris' towering 17th minute header from Alan Cawley's in-swinging corner that was always drifting wide.
United's attacking endeavours were best typified by a clever Sean Kelly flick which gave Iarfhlaith Davoren room to run in to. He found Derek O'Brien who ran straight and true past two Pat's players to the byline before clipping the ball back across goal. There was no one there, though, to finish off what would have been an excellent goal.
When John Russell committed a needless foul on the edge of the box on 25 minutes, Alan Cawley stepped up but couldn't beat the defensive wall. For all Galway's good play in the opening half hour, it was another dead-ball situation that brought the sides level in the 32nd minute.
Little or nothing seemed on when Ryan Guy crossed from the left side of the area. Breen was in position, but instead of putting his foot through the ball, fatally decided to take a touch and mis-controlled. Stuart Byrne nipped in to take the ball away from the centre half and went sprawling to the ground when Breen attempted to redeem his error but only succeeded in giving away a penalty.
Mark Quigley calmly stepped up and beat his former team-mate Barry Ryan with a low drive to the bottom right corner. Goals can easily change the complexion of games, and this one was no different. From looking calm and assured, Galway now looked uneasy and Pats took the upper hand. Ryan Guy again was the instigator in the 35th minute with a darting run in the inside left channel and nearly took advantage of Shane Guthrie's absence from the heart of defence with a lobbed pass towards Quigley that just bounced too high for the striker to take advantage of; Ryan claiming to the relief of the natives.
Guy was then inches away from finding Byrne's surging run into the box before Darragh Ryan tried his luck from the edge of the area with a looping shot that failed to force Ryan into anything other than a simple catch. When the half-time whistle went, it was clearly Ian Foster who would have more to do to rouse his troops, especially with an injury to the influential Sean Kelly forcing the midfielder off just before the break.
Whatever was said again worked a treat as Galway scored within 90 seconds of the restart. Russell's evasive run brought him to the edge of the area, where he won a soft free kick under minimal contact from Partridge. Declan Hanney blew for a free and O'Shea stepped forward. Having scored from an identical position in the League Cup, bending the ball around the wall into the near post, a similar effort was expected.
Instead, O'Shea went for power and drove the ball goalwards. It ended up in the back of the net and O'Shea rightfully claimed the plaudits, but a deflection on the way in totally wrong-footed Gary Rogers and there was little the former Galway 'keeper could do to stop United taking the lead once more.
Again, Pat's responded spiritedly and Damien Lynch's cross moments before the hour mark found Ryan at the back stick but the former Cork City man's header clipped the bar on its way over. While the home team weren't as anxious as the closing portion of the first half, Guy's pace was still causing them problems and when the American cut back into Quigley's path, it took a Guthrie intervention to deny an equaliser.
The pace of the game was now electric with Vinny Faherty getting to the endline and squaring into the six yard box where a sliding O'Shea was inches away from a second. Two minutes later and Darragh Ryan had forced another save from Barry Ryan. With his midfield tiring, Foster was forced to bring on Declan Edwards for Russell and move Cooke back into the centre alongside McBrien.
A 70th minute volley from Quigley flew high and over before a scrappy final twenty minutes in which neither side created a notable chance. Pat's toiled but were left hitting hopeful long balls in the hope of grabbing a second.
There was late drama when Gary Rogers conceded a free kick in injury time when he picked up a back pass that had taken a touch off a Galway player that was never spotted. He redeemed himself with a good save from O'Shea before Mark O'Toole fired wide. There was more drama post the final whistle when Jamie Harris picked up his second yellow card for abuse directed at the officials. He had only been booked seconds earlier for dissent following the back pass incident.
Galway United: Barry Ryan; Seamus Conneely, Garry Breen, Shane Guthrie, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Jay O'Shea, John Russell (Declan Edwards, 69), Sean Kelly (Cian McBrien, 44), Dave Cooke, Derek O'Brien (Mark O'Toole, 81);Jay O'Shea, Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Ger Hanley, Jason Molloy.
St Patrick's Athletic: Gary Rogers; Enda Stevens, Jamie Harris, David Partridge, Stephen Maher; Damien Lynch, Alan Cawley, Stuart Byrne (Gareth O'Connor, 78), Darragh Ryan; Ryan Guy, Mark Quigley.
Subs not used: Brendan Clarke, Andy Haran, Kyle Moran, Noel Haverty.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Jay O'Shea.
Attendance: 1400 est..
Referee: Declan Hanney.