Galway United claimed their first win of the season on Friday night with a 1-0 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park. The home side were left rueing a host of wasted opportunities and despite dominating the game for long stretches, failed to breach the Galway defence.
Unlike the hosts, Galway proved very clinical up front with Joseph Yoffe’s 60th minute winner capping a hard fought for the Tribesmen.
Bohemians’ problems in attack stemmed from the absence of star striker Chris Fagan who was ruled out of the game through injury. Pat Fenlon was forced to shuffle his deck with Anto Flood employed as the lone striker with support from Killian Brennan and Gary Burke down the wings, and Stephen Traynor playing just off Flood.
Initially the changes seemed to have worked quite well with Bohs looking very sharp in the opening 10 minutes. It wasn’t long before the first chance of the game fell to Robert Bayly. Stephen Traynor and Anto Flood linked up on the edge of the box before the ball fell to Bayly who shot well wide.
Bohs continued to probe and their slick passing was causing Galway real problems. Killian Brennan looked a genuine threat as time and time again he cut in from the right wing to link up with Flood and Traynor.
On 16 minutes, Brennan could have had a goal of his own when he was played through by Owen Heary. Brennan jinked past the challenges of Paul Sinnott and Stephen Walsh before firing just wide of the right post.
Galway’s chances were limited to long range efforts. However, striker Joseph Yoffe did look threatening when offered time and space in the Bohs’ half. Karl Moore played him through on 20 minutes but Yoffe’s touch was too heavy and Bohs keeper Barry Murphy easily collected.
The Tribesmen’s best chance of the half came seven minutes before the break when Moore ghosted through the centre of the Bohs defence before attempting to put Yoffe through. Mark Rossiter’s attempted clearance cannoned off Yoffe and appeared to be on its way into the goal before bouncing just wide of the post.
The Gypsies finished the half as they started with crisp passing, but lacked real quality in the final third. Ollie Cahill picked out Anto Flood with a precision cross but the former Galway United player couldn’t keep his glancing header on target.
Recognising a change was needed, Fenlon switched to a four-four-two formation at the start of the second half with Traynor moving up to support Flood. After a slow restart, the game came to life in a frantic five minutes. First Bohs had a great chance to take the lead when Traynor and Flood almost linked up in the Galway box.
Two minutes later Flood turned provider as he flicked the ball into the path of Killian Brennan, but the winger’s goal bound effort was charged down bravely by Shaun Maher.
Under such intense Bohemians pressure, the Galway goal 15 minutes into the second half came as a real surprise. The away side broke quickly out of defence with the ball worked wide to Karl Moore on the right wing. His low cross was collected by Yoffe six yards from goal and he coolly evaded the challenges of Rossiter and Liam Burns before firing past Barry Murphy.
Bohs required a quick response but the absence of Fagan was abundantly clear as the hosts huffed and puffed their way through the rest of the game. The introduction of David Lodola for Anto Flood effectively meant Bohs gave up their free passing game and opted for long balls into the Galway box. It was a ploy Maher and Sinnott in the Galway defence easily dealt with.
Lodola had a great opportunity to equalise on 70 minutes when he met Ollie Cahill’s cross. However the substitute’s header sailed wide of the mark. It was another guilt-edged chance Bohs should have converted.
Galway could taste their first victory by now and were happy to sit back and allow Bohs to attack. Any chances they had were few and far between, though Brian Cash and Stephen Walsh both went close to extending the lead late on.
Bohs mounted a late challenge and could have grabbed an equaliser in additional time. However Galway goalkeeper Greg Fleming twice came to his side’s rescue to hand Galway their first win of the season.
Bohemians: Barry Murphy; Owen Heary, Ollie Cahill, Liam Burns, Aidan Price; Mark Rossiter, Gary Burke, Robert Bayly (Lee Dixon, 61), Stephen Traynor (Keith Buckley, 87); Killian Brennan, Anto Flood (David Lodola, 61)
Subs Not Used: Craig Sexton, Karl Somers, Jason Dwane, Kevin Feely.
Galway United: Greg Fleming; Shaun Kelly, Shaun Maher, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh; Brian Cash, Alan Murphy, Gary Curran, Karl Moore, Bobby Ryan; Joseph Yoffe (Enda Curran, 78 (Neal Keane, 91)).
Subs not used: Conor Winn, Gary Kelly, Keith Duffy, Rory Gartlan, Eduardo Dusi.
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Shaun Maher (Galway United) - The centre back put in a commanding performance and came to the Tribesmen’s rescue on more than one occasion.