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Galway FC put five past Sligo Rovers in preseason friendly

Keith Kelly

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Galway FC 5

Sligo Rovers 3

Galway FC began life in impressive style on Saturday night when they defeated FAI Cup holders Sligo Rovers in a friendly that was played on the all-weather pitch at Mervue, after the game was moved from Eamonn Deacy Park due to the weather.

Goals from Vinny Faherty (2), Ryan Connolly, Ryan Manning and Marty Owens sealed a very impressive win, and while preseason results should always be taken with a pinch of salt, the win will give the new side a major boost ahead of the start of the season on March 7, when they host Longford Town in Eamonn Deacy Park.

Both sides played two different XIs in each half, and it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the seventh minute when North fired past Conor Gleeson. The lead lasted just a minute, however, when Faherty fired home from close range after Manning was denied by a Richard Brush save.

Galway FC took the lead when Connolly curled a free-kick into the bottom corner of Brush’s net, and they extended their lead on the half-hour mark when Faherty grabbed his second of the game, Faherty turning home a cross from Jake Keegan.

They added a fourth just before the break when Manning let fly from 30 yards, and his shot – which had the wind behind it – flew past Brush and into the net via the crossbar.

Marty Owens made it 5-1 in the 51st minute when getting on the end of Aaron McDonagh’s ball, but the visitors managed to salvage some pride when Paul O’Connor and Joseph Ndo each pulled a goal back, with Ndo’s coming direct from a corner kick, but that was as close as they got.

He has signed 21 players, and has gone for a local feel for the side – 19 of the squad are from either Galway or Mayo; while Gary Shanahan is a Limerick man but spent last year on the books of Mervue United, leaving New York native Jake Keegan as the only player not from the West coast.

Galway FC’s next friendly is against Limerick FC this Thursday night, February 6, at the ground of Moyne Villa in Headford. They will also host Athlone Town in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday February 21.

Soccer

Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils

Keith Kelly

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Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2

GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.

Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune

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CITY TRIBUNE

Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp

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Paul Corcorcan

GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.

A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.

Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.

See full match report in City Tribune Sport.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cup offers United chance to boost morale

Stephen Glennon

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HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.

United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.

Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.

However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.

“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.

“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.

Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.

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