End of FAI Cup journey for Utd team lacking firepower


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

End of FAI Cup journey for Utd team lacking firepower End of FAI Cup journey for Utd team lacking firepower

Galway United 0

Bohemians 1

SO, just the one trophy this season then, but when you’ve been waiting 26 years to have something to rub the Brasso on, that’ll do plenty, thanks very much.

Still though. You didn’t know whether to be mad or sad as you left Eamonn Deacy Park last Saturday afternoon after watching Galway United’s FAI Cup run end at the semi-final stage yet again as they came up just short against a Bohs side that, on balance, was fully deserving of the win, despite playing most of the second-half with 10 men.

That was a fourth single-goal defeat for United in their last five FAI Cup semi-final appearances: a 2-1 loss to Finn Harps in 1999, and 1-0 defeats to Longford Town in 2003 and Derry in 2008. You can now add Saturday to that list of lost opportunities.

What was a real sickener is that the only goal of the game came from a defensive error: Maurice Nugent had the Comer Stand, the Dyke Road, the Corrib and almost the entire city centre to aim his clearance towards from Kacper Radkowski’s hopeful punt forward in the last moment of the opening half.

But he let the ball bounce, and again, and one more time, trying to shield it away rather than shoeing it away, and United paid the price. Jonathan Afolabi, a fella who is almost as wide as he is tall, bullied Nugent off the ball and turned for the United penalty area.

On he ran, cutting in from the left, before drilling a ball across the face of goal, and Dylan Connolly came scurrying in off the right wing to slide in and smash the ball home. What a time to score your first goal of the season.

The air was sucked right out of the United challenge, a silence falling the entire ground apart from the clubhouse corner of the old stand, where scores of Bohs fans raced onto the pitch to celebrate the goal.

That is one massive area the club needs to work on for the return to the top-flight, the ease with which the boundary wall can be scaled by friend and foe alike, but there were plenty of footballing lessons from Saturday as well.

Pictured: Galway United’s Regan Donelon is chased by Dylan Connolly of Bohemians during the FAI Cup semi-final at Eamonn Deasy Park on Saturday. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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