Brilliant United cut loose to dump Dundalk out of Cup


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Brilliant United cut loose to dump Dundalk out of Cup Brilliant United cut loose to dump Dundalk out of Cup

Galway United 4

Dundalk 0

Keith Kelly at Eamonn Deacy Park

IT was a night that one Galway man described as the low point in his footballing career, but for almost every other Galwegian, it was a night of beautiful carnage as Galway United inflicted Dundalk’s heaviest-ever defeat in the FAI Cup to smash their way into the last four of the competition.

Stephen O’Donnell, the city native who is manager of Dundalk, stood in front of the away fans for five to 10 minutes after the game with his players and endured a barrage of abuse, before trudging back across the pitch and into a dressing room shrouded in a funereal atmosphere, with the only noise being that of the running showers.

It was a very different story down the other end of the corridor in a home dressing room which was a wall of joyful noise as another special chapter was written in what is a very special season in United’s history.

Dundalk looked every bit the Premier Division side that they are for about the first three minutes or so, and Brendan Clarke showed his class with a stunning save to deny Republic of Ireland international and Knocknacarra native Daryl Horgan the opening goal.

And then United took over, and took over in style. By the time referee David Dunne blew his half-time whistle, United had scored four goals and had another chalked off, while the hapless visitors had already made three substitutions after being carved open time and again.

Wassim Aouachria ran amok against poor Darragh Leahy, who was one of the three players hauled ashore in the 34th minute, with United manager, John Caulfield, admitting after the game that United had specifically targeted the defender.

You nearly felt sorry for Leahy, whose night was perfectly encapsulated when, as he crossed the sideline after being substituted, he couldn’t even manage to execute a high-five with team-mate, Greg Sloggett.

It was high-fives all around for United, however, as Stephen Walsh, Ed McCarthy, Maurice Nugent, and David Hurley all found the net at the car-park end of the ground on a night the Tribesmen were simply untouchable.

It was Walsh who opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a goal straight from the training ground. Unted were awarded a free-kick when summer-signing Aouachria – what the hell were Waterford thinking in letting him go, and go to a title rival at that! – was dragged down by Leahy about 10 yards outside the box.

Pictured: Galway United’s Stephen Walsh putting pressure on Dundalk goalkeeper Karl Sheppard during Friday’s FAI Cup quarter-final at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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