Home draw leaves United’s destiny no longer in their own hands

Galway United's Eoin McCormack comes under strong pressure from Jordi Balk of St Patrick's Athletic during Friday night's Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 1

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

IT’S out of their own hands now, and favours will be needed from the likes of Cork City, Derry City or Drogheda United if Galway United are to retain their Premier Division status for next season.

That wasn’t the message coming from the United camp after the game, with Shane Keegan saying that despite the disappointment of drawing with St Patrick’s Athletic, at least United had their destiny still in their own hands.

When it was pointed out to him that that wasn’t actually the case, a little bit of colour drained from his face – with two games remaining, United are in a perilous position and are favourites to join Drogheda and Finn Harps in the bottom tier next season.

The draw with Pats, in addition to Sligo Rovers’ taking a point from Shamrock Rovers on the same night, means United remain in the final relegation spot, one point behind Sligo and Pats. Keegan’s side do have a superior goal difference, so if they finish level on points with either of those two sides, they will survive due to their better scoring difference.

The trick is to make up that point on one of those two sides, and they might have to win their last two games to do so, with the Dublin outfit the one most likely to be caught. Their last two games are at home to Cork City this Friday and away to Derry City the following weekend; while Sligo host Derry City this weekend, before travelling to relegated Drogheda on the final night of the campaign.

You can see Sligo picking up at least four points, and possibly six, from those two games, so United need Pats to drop points while at the same time taking the maximum haul from Limerick in the Markets Field this Friday; and Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday week.

They can also catch Limerick by winning their last two games, and hoping the Treatymen lose both of their two games – they finish with an away game against Shamrock Rovers – so United are not without hope.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune