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Soccer

Mervue United pose no threat in a one-sided FAI Cup clash

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Bray Wanderers  2

Mervue United   0

Keith Kelly at the Carlisle Grounds

A season which started with so much promise for Mervue United is now in danger of falling into disappointment once again after Johnny Glynn’s side bowed out of the FAI Cup in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.

It was a fourth defeat on the trot for Mervue, a run which included an exit from the EA Sports Cup as well as the FAI Cup, and having sat on the coat-tails of league leaders Longford Town for so long, they have now slipped nine points behind the Midlanders in fourth place.

Of all the ties drawn from the hat for the Second Round, this was the one most agreed had the greatest prospect of an upset, but that was never on the cards as the home side controlled proceedings from first whistle to last to comfortably progress to the last 16.

Jason Byrne scored twice, and the veteran striker could have had at least two more as Conor Gleeson and his defence endured a busy night. It was a different story at the other end as Mervue failed to test Darren Quigley even once, managing just three off-target efforts throughout the 90 minutes.

The first chance of the game actually fell to the visitors in the sixth minute, Shane O’Connor’s clearing header landing at the feet of Tom King 30 yards from goal, but the returning skipper got under the ball, his lofted shot clearing Quigley’s crossbar by a comfortable distance.

Jason Byrne tried his luck from a similar distance a minute later, but the outcome was the same, and with both teams struggling to keep the ball on the deck, a long night looked on the cards.

However, the home side soon settled, with Gary Dempsey pulling the strings in the heart of midfield, and the veteran playmaker would have opened the scoring in the 11th minute after good link-up play with Ismahil Akinade, only for Michael McSweeney to nip in with a timely interception.

Dean Zambra forced Gleeson in his first save of the game two minutes later when he found the target with a 25-yard shot, but the ‘keeper was behind it all the way. The home side were starting to get a grip on the game, and that became a stranglehold in the 20th minute when they opened the scoring.

Kieran Waters won a dubious free-kick wide on the right, and Zambra’s delivery picked out the run of Jason Byrne, who lost his marker to rise unopposed 12 yards from goal to head past Gleeson.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel 

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway United’s chance to close gap on table-toppers Shels

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Friday the 13th – unlucky for some – and Galway United will be hoping it is an unlucky night for runaway leaders Shelbourne on Friday evening. Shels, who are currently 10 points clear of second place United, are still unbeaten in this year’s First Division with 12 wins and six draws to their name.

The Tribesmen go into this week’s pivotal fixture after a disappointing 3-2 defeat against Cork City last Friday at Eamonn Deacy Park. The game had a ‘hit-and-run’ feel to it as Colin Healy’s side snatched all three points with ten minutes to go which ended United’s seven-game unbeaten league run.

BY TOM BYRNE

Even so, United replaced Treaty United in second place on goal difference after the Limerick outfit were defeated 4-1 by Cabinteely at the Markets Field.

Shelbourne have been the team to beat this season as they look odds-on to win this season’s First Division with nine games to go. Ian Morris’ side were hampered by a number of Covid cases in their squad for last week’s game against UCD, where they drew 0-0 at the UCD Bowl. It is expected that they will have players returning for their crucial clash against United at Terryland.

The two clubs have faced each other on 75 occasions. Shelbourne being victorious the more often with 39 wins, United defeating the north-Dubliners 17 times and 19 games ending in stalemate. United have hit the Shels net 86 times while the 2019 First Division winners have scored on 132 occasions against United.

The two teams played out a 0-0 draw at Eamonn Deacy Park in the first game this season, while Shelbourne had the upper hand in the reverse fixture when they overcame United 4-0 at Tolka Park in May.

Goal friendly Shels have struck 36 goals in 18 games so far this campaign, with former Shamrock Rovers man Ryan Brennan bagging ten of those. United will look to Wilson Waweru and Ruairi Keating for their main source of goals, with the latter hitting the net on seven occasions this season. Waweru brought his goal tally to six last week when he scored United’s first equalising goal against Cork City.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the soccer preview, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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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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