Edenderry Town 4
Mervue United 2
EARLY indications were that this was going to see a comfortable FAI Youth Cup success for Mervue Utd on Saturday as the visitors controlled matters, but poor finishing undermined some good approach play.
Mervue’s wastefulness continued and the home team struck against the run of play when Cian McMonigle fired Edenderry ahead on 34 minutes.
Mervue responded when Ryan Manning got on the end of an Aaron McDonagh delivery to power home a header and tie up matters.
Eoin Walsh then came close to putting Mervue ahead when he got on the end of a Manning lay off, but Edenderry goalkeeper Cain Brereton pulled off a magnificent save to keep the sides level.
The resumption started well as Mervue controlled matters in a confident manner and were rewarded when Manning set up Walsh to finish from close range for a 2-1 lead.
However the concession of a soft penalty on 51 minutes was to be the start of a rapid collapse. Edenderry equalised from the spot kick and worse was to follow for Mervue when a poor defensive clearance resulted in McMonigle completing his hat trick.
Chasing the game, Mervue left themselves open to the Edenderry counter attacks and the game was really up when Rory McNamee added a fourth on 61 minutes to set up a home semi final against Cork side Castleview.
East United 0
Mervue United 1
When Aidan Naughton got on the end of a splendid Denis Lydon cross with just two minutes left, his volley from ten yards looked goal bound until it struck the back of team-mate Tony Kelly to deflect was seemed a certain equaliser out for a goal kick.
It was such a moment that could have clinched a league title for the visitors as the Premier Division leaders hung on to an early lead goal from Stephen Cunningham.
That breakthrough came after just two minutes when right full Eric Browne fed the striker and after side stepping a defender, Cunningham fired past Anthony Ryan for an early winner.
In a hard fought derby clash at Castle Park, East gave as good as they got against Mervue. Mark Griffin found the side netting, while Christian Ryan was a constant threat throughout.
The introduction of Paul Sinnott in the second half added a touch of class to the visitors’ challenge and some silky footwork culminated in the midfielder bring a smart save from Ryan. Derek McWalter also tested the custodian, before Tommy Walsh and Cunningham failed to add to their tally in late rallies.
East were not without their moments as Luke Deacy fired wide, while left full Peter Hession dragged a close range shot wide of the far post.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils
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
Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp
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.
Cup offers United chance to boost morale
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.