Galway United 1
Shamrock Rovers 2
Four games, three defeats, two goals scored, and one point collected – forget about performances or hard luck stories, it has been a rotten start to the season for Galway United.
The latest disappointment came on Monday night when Shane Keegan’s side came off second-best to a far from polished Shamrock Rovers side, and while the manager insisted after the game that there were plenty of positives, he admitted the team need to start winning games, and soon.
“I’m the manager, maybe I’m wearing rose tinted glasses, but I thought we were good for long, long periods of the game, but I’m getting a little sick of moral victories.
“That’s three games we should have taken something from. We were atrocious against Cork, I know we were, and we didn’t deserve anything out of that, but in all the other three games we should have taken something – I’d argue 2 wins and a draw, and instead were sitting on one point rather than seven,” he said.
The thing is, you don’t get points for artistic merit, and as Keegan said himself, “maybe we need to start playing poor and winning games, maybe that’s the way it’s going to work out for us”.
United went into the game looking for a first win in over a decade against Rovers, but they got off to the worst possible start when conceding after just 84 seconds. They had good possession just inside the Rovers half, but a sloppy pass gave the visitors a chance to break.
Ronan Finn slid a pass between United centre-backs, Stephen Folan and Lee Grace, for Gary Shaw to race onto. The striker had plenty of work to do, but he easily brushed past Folan’s challenge before firing past Conor Winn for his first goal of the season.
Darren Meenan almost added a second in the 19th minute, getting on the end of a 60-yard clearance by Tomer Chencinski and lifting the ball over the advancing Winn, who had charged out of his penalty area, but David Cawley was on hand to hack clear.
United did enjoy a decent bit of possession, but it was far too lateral and in the middle third of the pitch, and they didn’t register a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes, although they weren’t helped by losing Padraig Cunningham to a hamstring injury in the 17th minute.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.