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Soccer

Manning on mark as Galway FC edge out Wexford hosts

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Wexford Youths 0

Galway FC 1

 IN the end, it turned out to be a good Friday for Galway FC, but for the first hour or so we were given a glimpse into the world of Phil Connors, the TV weatherman character played by Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day who finds himself in a timeloop, forced to endure the same day over and over again.

Just like the games against Shamrock Rovers B and Shelbourne, Tommy Dunne’s charges were the better side and dominated possession and territory in Ferrycarrig Park, but were failing to make that dominance count on the scoreboard.

It looked like being another night of hard-luck stories, a night of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘if onlys’, with the fare on offer in the footballing outpost that Mick Wallace built being interchangeable with previous outings, but that all changed in the 61st minute when Ryan Manning showed great awareness to loop a header into the net for a goal that was enough to settle a poor quality tie

It says a lot that considering the visitors’ superiority, it was goalkeeper Conor Gleeson who was their best player on the night, the youngster putting in another cracking display between the sticks to add to his growing reputation as a shot-stopper of note.

When you are struggling for goals at one end, you need to ensure you’re keeping them out at the other and Gleeson was once again outstanding, pulling off three saves of the top-drawer variety before Manning made that crucial breakthrough.

And so the first round of games is complete and sees Galway FC with the reasonable return of nine points from seven games, with two wins, three draws and two defeats to their credit. It could – and should – be a healthier return, but there are some serious flaws in the attacking third of the pitch that need to be ironed out.

They had plenty of possession on Friday night, particularly in the second-half, but the goal aside, Doyle really had little to do, a combination of bad finishing and, yes, bad luck, proving to be Galway FC’s downfall.

“We’re still creating chances, but we just have to be a little bit more fluent and try to get more to finish. We have to encourage more players to get in there, but your general play has to be good to allow fellas get in to the box,” Dunne said after the game.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

Soccer

Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils

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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

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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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