Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 9, 2009
Venue: The Showgrounds
Ref: Derek Tomney
Att: 1,800 (est)
The win was no more than Sligo deserved after their vibrant and energetic display against a very conservative Galway side who created little chances and tried to pack the midfield for large spells of the game.
The game started with Sligo pushing Galway from the off, and they tried to use their star striker Cretaro to prise open the Galway defence. The first opportunity, a one-on-one situation from the left was gifted to Cretaro after good work by Sligo's midfield. Cretaro took the ball in, struck the ball low and hard from the edge of the box to the bottom right hand corner of the goal but Barry Ryan in the Galway goal pulled off a fantastic save with his left foot to deny Cretaro the opener.
Cretaro should have also scored minutes later when he headed wide from two yards after Eoin Doyle crossed the ball in past everybody bar Cretaro who was lingering at the back post.
After further opportunities fell to both Cash and Cretaro in the first half, Cretaro finally put Sligo in the lead in the thirty-seventh minute. A through ball from the Eoin Doyle saw a suspiciously offside Cretaro beat the Galway defence. Cretaro played the whistle, took the ball in his stride and made no mistake in approaching Ryan from the left of the area and nutmegging the Galway 'keeper from about ten yards out.
The second half started with Galway trying to go on the offensive, their 4-5-1 formation was abandoned and Alan Murphy joined Vinny Faherty in the Galwegian attack. They pressed more, but their sole chance of the half fell to former Rover Derek O'Brien who headed wide when he really should have equalized.
Sligo also pushed on for a goal in the second half. A cross fell to Richie Ryan, who had an open goal at his mercy from two yards out but alas for the Bit O'Red the chance was saved by Ryan who was vividly quick in closing down the opportunity.
The introduction of Darren Meenan and Dean Marshall saw Sligo seek their second in style. The sleek passing interchanges between the youngsters bamboozled the Galway defence and this coupled with Matthew Blinkhorn's tenacity in attack saw Sligo go two ahead. After Blinkhorn chased Barry Ryan down and forced the 'keeper to put the ball out for a throw, the ball eventually fell to Cretaro in the left hand corner after a brief interchange of passes in the midfield. Cretaro ran towards goal, drew in Ryan and sprang the ball perfectly across the goal to the waiting Marshall who side-footed home from two yards into an open goal.
Marshall should have got a second as full time approached, as he ran the length of the Galway half with the ball as the Terryland outfit tried to get a consolation goal. Marshall nearly executed a perfect chip on Ryan from outside the box, but Ryan somehow clawed the ball around the post to force a corner.
Sligo Rovers:Kelly; Ventre, Peers, Keane, Kendrick; Cash, O'Grady, Ryan (Meenan 78), Doyle (Marshall 81); Blinkhorn, Cretaro (Turner 88).
Subs not used: Schlingermann, Camano.
Galway United: Ryan; Sinnott, Breen, Guthrie, O'Toole; Kelly (Fitzgerald 68), Russell, Alan Murphy, O'Brien, Greene (Molloy 77); Faherty.
Subs not used: Sangi, McBrien, Hanley.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Raffaele Cretaro.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).