Goal-shy Utd let Sligo men off hook in derby battle


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Goal-shy Utd let Sligo men off hook in derby battle Goal-shy Utd let Sligo men off hook in derby battle

Galway United 0

Sligo Rovers 0

GALWAY United played out their fifth scoreless draw of the season on Friday night – equalling their most ever in a season – as their poor form in front of goal was once again to the fore, with the home side failing to find the net for the ninth time in 15 games.

We are in a situation where a Galwayman has scored more goals than Galway United, with Pat Hoban having found the net nine times for Derry City, one more than the eight United have scored.

The counter argument is that United have conceded just seven goals so far this season, four fewer than the next meanest defence, which is that of league leaders, Shelbourne, so for every ying, there is a yang.

They had their chances to add to their tally on Friday, but Stephen Walsh blazed over from 10 yards; Pat Hickey headed wide from even closer; Maurice Nugent hit the crossbar from close range; and Ed McGinty denied both Hickey and Wassim Aouachria with fine saves.

The United management and players are preaching a message of patience, pointing to the fact that the Tribesmen are operating in the top-flight for the first time in seven years: Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.

To be fair, they do have a point, and you can’t really complain about finding United more than comfortable sitting fifth in the table and closer to Shels (a seven point gap) than basement side Dundalk (12 points) edging towards the half-way point in the season.

But there is still just that little itch of wondering how much better it should be. Set-pieces, such an incredible weapon in their arsenal last season, have been poor this season, a season which, if we are honest, has to be seen as lacking any real quality: Shels have won just once in their last nine games, but are still top of the table.

That said, Friday’s draw means United are on a seven-match unbeaten run, so maybe we do need to heed the advice mammy used to give us, and have patience.

United made two changes to the side which beat Bohs on the Bank Holiday Monday, with Conor McCormack and Aodh Dervin coming in for Nugent, the goal-scoring hero in Dalymount Park; and the suspended Karl O’Sullivan.

Pictured: Galway United’s Stephen Walsh giving chase to Charlie Wiggett of Sligo Rovers during Friday’s Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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