Date: 7:45 p.m. March 4, 2016
Att: 1,626

Christy Fagan 47' -
Scored: 47'

Scored: 58'
- Vinny Faherty 58'

Scored: 83'
- John Sullivan 83'

Scored: 90'
- Enda Curran 90' + 2'

League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 1 - 3 Galway United

Fri, Mar 04 2016

Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

A keenly resolute 3-1 victory was the result for Galway United on Friday night as St. Patrick’s Athletic began their campaign with a home loss in the presence of Uachtaran na hEireann Michael D. Higgins at Richmond Park, with Enda Curran’s goal in injury time adding to John Sullivan’s second half header to put the Saints to the sword.


The sole Premier Division fixture to be played in the capital was enwrapped in a warm buzz of intrepid excitement for the new season as kick-off neared. The red carpet was borrowed from its stay in Hollywood for last week’s Academy Awards and duly rolled out for the visit of Galway United patron Michael D. Higgins to kick the new season off in style.


Expectation in the face of the unknown was the name of the game for St. Pats in this game. Four new signings made the starting eleven as Liam Buckley was offered the first opportunity to gel his new-look squad of players into a cohesive unit, the manager stressing in the days leading up to the game his desire to reinforce a team dynamic.


Neither side was quick to fire on the trigger despite the presence of numerous quality forwards on the pitch and on the bench. Ruairi Keating was presented with the game’s first opportunity, however the forward failed to even garner a shot on target.


Meanwhile for the host Shane McEleney provided a consistent forward moving motion of attacking inspiration, getting the cogs going in the St. Pats midfield by driving at the Galway midfield.


One such instance saw the former Derry City defender – playing in an intriguing midfield role – play a neat one two out of defence with Christy Fagan dropping deep, to play a cutting ball that would have seen Conan Byrne in 1 v 1 with Conor Winn in the Galway goal. Stephen Walsh however obstructed the ball with his hand only to commit the offence again only for referee Robert Harvey to restrain from sending the defender off.


The second half came to a close featuring some highlighted close chances from including an ambitious effort from Conan Byrne from an acute angle that flew well and truly over Conor Winn’s crossbar. The half would end on a sour note however as Galway forward Ruairi Keating was substituted for Enda Curran which saw Keating exit the pitch groggy and possibly concussed.


St. Pats burst into life after the break however as Billy Dennehy’s cross from the right was headed expertly into the far corner of the goal by the familiar head of Christy Fagan after 47 minutes.


The forward missed the majority of his side’s games last season – taking part in 16 of St. Pats’ 45 games – as he began his goal count early and precise this time around for 2016.


Galway responded with Gary Shanahan going up the other end to offer a cutting cross that substitute Enda Curran just failed to slide home – the pitch visibly slippery from the morning’s unexpected snowfall.


Liam Buckley’s side threatened again following a brief shout for a penalty that resulted in Billy Dennehy being booked for simulation, as a long winded clearance set Conan Byrne racing after a loose ball only for the ball to bobble out of his control as Conor Winn raced to gather and clear.


Galway United stormed back, however, with the equalizer as Vinny Faherty took on all comers as he latched onto a throw-in on the edge of the St. Pats penalty area. The forward dribbled and dodged all bodies that came his way before cutting inside smartly at the death to slide the ball past Brendan Clarke at his near post to bring the score-line back to 1-1.


Enda Curran entered Galway into a comfortable period as his shot from 20 yards skipped dangerously off the Richmond Park turf and just wide of Brendan Clarke’s post.


St. Pats stepped up their game soon after as Ger O’Brien provided a cutting edge curling cross that saw Christy Fagan’s header at the far post produce a firm save of the season contender less than 80 minutes into the new season as Conor Winn clawed the ball acrobatically off his line with a sweeping swing of his arm to keep the scores level.


Ryan Connolly’s free kick saw John Sullivan guide the ball past Brendan Clarke with an astonishing free header in the middle of the box after 83 minutes to bring the Tribesmen into the lead with seven minutes remaining.


Enda Curran should have put the game to bed after his one-two with Vinny Faherty following sloppy passes at the back from St. Pats saw the striker put his effort wide from three yards out, only for linesman raised flag for offside to save his blushes.


Curran made up for this after 92 minutes however as he hit a magnificent curling effort past Clarke to end the game 3-1 winners as Galway maintained their lead to earn a first victory in this 2016 Premier Division campaign.



St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Darren Dennehy, Sean Hoare, Ian Bermingham, Shane McEleney, David Cawley, Graham Kelly (Mark Timlin 71), Conan Byrne, Billy Dennehy, Christy Fagan (Dinny Corcoran (80)

Subs not used: Patrick Jennings (gk), Jason McGuninness, Keith Treacy, Dylan McGlade, Sam Verdon

Bookings: B. Dennehy (54)


Galway United: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Stephen Folan, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh, John Sullivan, Kevin Devaney (Killian Cantwell 85),, Ryan Connolly, Vinny Faherty, Gary Shanahan (Conor Melody 77), Ruairi Keating, Enda Curran (45)

Subs not used: Kevin Horgan (gk), Cormac Rafferty, Eric Foley, Padraic Cunningham,

Bookings: Walsh (6), Curran (90).


Referee: Robert Harvey.

Attendance: 1,626. Man of the Match: Vinny Faherty (Galway United).


You can see a selection of pictures from the game as taken by Peter Fitzpatrick, Tom Beary and Darragh Connolly here.


St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Ger O'Brien
Sean Hoare
Darren Dennehy
Ian Bermingham
Shane McEleney
Graham Kelly
71Subbed Off: 71'
Billy Dennehy
54Booked: 54'
David Cawley
Conan Byrne
Christy Fagan
47Scored: 47'
80Subbed Off: 80'

Sam Verdon
Keith Treacy
Mark Timlin
71Subbed On: 71'
Jason McGuinness
Dylan McGlade
Pat Jennings
Dinny Corcoran
80Subbed On: 80'
Galway United
Conor Winn
Stephen Walsh
6Booked: 6'
Paul Sinnott
Colm Horgan
Stephen Folan
John Sullivan
33Booked: 33'
83Scored: 83'
Kevin Devaney
Midfielder 85'
85Subbed Off: 85'
Ryan Connolly
Gary Shanahan
Forward 77'
77Subbed Off: 77'
Ruairi Keating
Forward 45'
45Subbed Off: 45'
Vinny Faherty
58Scored: 58'

Cormac Raftery
Conor Melody
77Subbed On: 77'
Kevin Horgan
Eric Foley
Enda Curran
45Subbed On: 45'
90Booked: 90'
90Scored: 90'
Padraic Cunningham
Kilian Cantwell
85Subbed On: 85'