Sloppy United pay the price against pace-setting Shels


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Sloppy United pay the price against pace-setting Shels Sloppy United pay the price against pace-setting Shels

Shelbourne 2

Galway United 0

IN a season when not much has gone wrong for Galway United on their return to the top-flight, nothing went right for them on Friday night, but the galling thing will be that their problems were all self-inflicted.

Shocking defending to gift the league leaders both of their goals; a booking for their captain that rules him out of the next game; two bookings for a half-time sub that saw him sent off and also out of the next game; a horrible penalty attempt that was saved; a gilt-edged chance of a goal put wide from five yards. It was a hard and frustrating watch.

It was the first game back after the midseason break, but far too many United players appeared to be still on a sunlounger somewhere, in their minds at least. John Caulfield made three changes at half-time, and agreed after the game that he was spoiled for choice in who to take off.

“You are absolutely right, it wasn’t just the three taken off, there were six or seven and it could have been any of them. We looked lethargic, fellas weren’t pressing, we were standing off, we were half closing down, which isn’t us. When two or three players start doing that, it affects the whole team, but it could have been six or seven,” he said.

Those three changes came after the management team of Caulfield, Ollie Horgan, Chris Collopy, and Gianluca Aimi stayed in the dugout for three to four minutes after the players had left the pitch at half-time. It could have been to talk things over in relation to changes, or it could have been to cool down as they would have been seething with the first-half display by the visitors.

Shels were missing their captain in midfield, but United seemed to be missing their entire midfield: three of them were hooked before the end of a game in which they were completely overrun as Evan Caffrey and JJ Lunney passed the ball through and around the visitors at will.

Pictured: Galway United’s Aodh Dervin who picked up two yellow cards in the space of 90 seconds against Shelbourne at Tolka Park on Friday night.

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