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West Utd leave league troubles behind with Junior Cup victory

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Soccer Local Scene with Mike Rafferty

WEST United might be struggling in the relegation area of the Premier League but Cup action brings a bit of fire to their bellies and, on Sunday last, they displayed admirable qualities to come from behind twice when seeing off a fancied Castlebar Celtic side in the Connacht Junior Cup.

John Egan is on a recovery mission following a recent injury and it was his springing from the bench that was to turn matters in their favour, as two late goals set up a last eight contest against neighbours Corrib Rangers.

>In the Airtricity U19 League, Salthill Devon brought a successful campaign to a conclusion with a 4-0 away win over Bohemians and, in the process, guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the Elite Division.

West United 3
Castlebar Celtic 2

Conditions were Baltic at South Park on Sunday and the action on the pitch did little to warm the hearts of the watching few as there was a reminder of an earlier round when West also came back from the dead to see off Knocknacarra.

On this occasion, they trailed to a Dessie Campbell goal at the break as Castlebar got a slender reward for a wind assisted opening half. However it was an advantage that never looked good enough, but the question was would West have the ability to recover?

Though the football was poor, some telling set piece deliveries by Paul Murphy proved to be their lifeline as two goals were acquired through such an approach. The winner six minutes into additional time was almost fictional as John Egan got on the end of a Tony Ward delivery to tap home from a yard for a dramatic finale.

Like the home side on the resumption, Celtic’s more threatening moments in the opening half came from the corners expertly delivered by Colm Nevin, but apart from a glaring miss by Campbell, they really only had a half of regrets.

An amazing feature of the game was that five goals aside, neither goalkeeper actually had a shot to save. The visitors’ opener arrived on 37 minutes when Campball spun in the box after collecting an Andy Neary pass and drilled a cracking low effort past Aaron Connolly for a 1-0 advantage. It was one of the few moments of class in an ordinary affair.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Soccer

Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils

Keith Kelly

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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

Stephen Glennon

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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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