Date: 7:45 p.m. July 3, 2009
Venue: Terryland Park
The game reinforced two beliefs; that Galway United struggle when they go behind and that Cork City have a mean defence who know how to defend an advantage.
Cork led at the half-way stage thanks to Silagailis' fourth league goal of the season ten minutes before the break. Colin Healy's corner cannoned off Shane Guthrie and fell invitingly for the Latvian, who swivelled well before shooting into the bottom corner.
It was a scarcely deserved lead, as Galway had bossed the opening exchanges, lining out in an unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation, with Jay O'Shea and Declan Edwards providing the additional prongs to aid the former lone striker Vinny Faherty. Galway took advantage of space out wide early on, with full backs Seamus Conneely and Iarfhlaith Davoren pushing on to good effect.
The home side were on the front foot, but were lucky not to fall behind on 8 minutes when Denis Behan cracked in a free kick from 35 yards that beat Barry Ryan, smacked the butt of the post, then went out for a corner off the 'keeper. But Galway continued to pose problems and Doolin had Dan Connor to thank for keeping the scores level in the 13th minute.
Cian McBrien picked up possession on the left and found O'Shea in space 12 yards out, the winger taking a touch before drilling low towards the bottom corner, only for Connor to get down excellently and save with a strong right hand. From the corner, McBrien flashed a half volley over the bar and the natives sensed a lead goal was on the cards.
But despite having a number of crossing opportunities, they were to get no further sight of goal in the half as Shane Guthrie's head injury after 25 minutes forced Galway into a five minute reshuffle while the defender was bandaged up. They could never refind their stride after the disruption and Colin Healy increasingly became a central protaganist in the contest.
It was his corner that provided the opening goal, and his surges from a three-man midfield were causing Galway defensive issues. The game, though, while bright and engaging for the opening half hour, had gone flat and the goal posed questions of the Galway side that they hadn't been able to answer at Turners Cross. A sixth Cork 1-0 victory was looking very much on the cards.
Galway United did come out firing in the second half, but unfortunately for Foster they were blanks as John Russell twice found himself in decent shooting positions but first shot tamely at Connor before landing his second effort in the car park minutes later.
Cork were content to attack on the counter, with Healy repeatedly leading the charge. On 59 Kudozovic scuttled a shot across the box that, with a touch, could have beaten Barry Ryan but ended up rolling inches wide of the post.
The Serbian has a habit of excelling when faced with a maroon jersey, and while not influential in general, he popped up in the 67th minute to shred Galway hopes further with a cracking strike. The home side were protesting in vain that Jay O'Shea had been fouled on the edge of the box by Neal Horgan, but Cork broke assuredly and Kudozovic latched onto Silagailis' pass on the edge of the area, steadied himself, and arrowed a left-foot strike into the top left corner.
Referee Declan Hanney received a torrent of abuse from the stands, Shane Guthrie picked up a yellow card for dissent, but more importantly the three points were now safely tucked away in Doolin's side possession with more than 20 minutes to go. They were never in danger of losing that grip in the closing stages as Galway huffed and puffed without forcing Dan Connor into action, bar a routine save in injury time from Conneely.
Galway United: Barry Ryan; Seamus Conneely, Shane Guthrie, Garry Breen, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Cian McBrien, Michael McGrath, John Russell (Alan Murphy, 88); Jay O'Shea, Declan Edwards (Jason Molloy, 72), Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Ger Hanley, Paul Sinnott, Mark O'Toole.
Cork City: Dan Connor; Neal Horgan, Pat Sullivan, Dan Murray, Danny Murphy; Stephen O'Donnell, Joe Gamble, Colin Healy; Faz Kudozovic, Guntars Silagails, Denis Behan (Alan O'Connor, 82).
Subs not used: Mark McNulty, Greg O'Halloran, Paul Deasy, Cillian Lordan.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Colin Healy.
Referee: Declan Hanney.