Sligo Rovers 1 - Galway United 1

November 8, 2018

Galway United and Sligo Rovers played out an engaging score draw in Terryland Park tonight as Jeff Kenna’s search for a first home win in the league continues. In fairness, Paul Cook’s side had enough chances to win the game and also played out the final twenty minutes against ten men but couldn’t force a winner.

The home side made four changes to the side who lost in Cork last week. Gary Rogers came in for the suspended Alvin Rouse, while Alan Murphy made his third debut in the maroon shirt. Regillio Nooitmeer was absent from the squad as rumours of a move away grew stronger. Seamus Coleman was ruled out of the Sligo line-up though an injury picked up at the Brandywell last weekend.

Galway are renowned at this stage for their slow starts and currently hold an 11-2 aggregate against from the first half an hour of their games so far. In keeping with this script, 27 seconds was all it took for Romald Boco to find a bit of space in the box from Sean Doherty’s cross, but Rogers gratefully smothered the ball to prevent an early catastrophe. Doherty and Boco were the major threats in an enterprising opening spell from the away side.

The Benin international was guilty of some poor finishing against Derry City a week earlier, and was continuing to find it difficult to hit the target. Twice he slipped free in the box, but was unable to force Rogers into action. He was then booked for his troubles on 18 minutes when he appeared to have won a penalty after beating John Fitzgerald but referee Alan Kelly deemed it a dive.

Galway eventually dragged themselves into the contest after their shaky start, as Murphy took advantage of poor marking to fire in a blistering shot which Richard Brush went full length to his left to push around the post for a corner. Derek Glynn’s pace was upsetting the Rovers back four and he was unlucky to be pulled back by a dodgy offside decision. Jay O’Shea had earlier failed to trouble Brush with a direct free but Murphy showed him how to do it in the 33rd minute following Conor O’Grady’s reckless challenge on the edge of the area.

A flurry of bookings near the end of the half didn’t represent what was a cleanly contested game. Another booking for Marc McCulloch early in the second half led to Sligo’s equaliser. A needless challenge in the right corner gave away the free, and Doherty’s cross to the far post was nodded back by O’Grady for Mauro Almeida to show his strikers how its done by crashing the ball to the roof of the net from close range. The centre half took his tally to four goals for the season.

Cook’s side should have taken the lead six minutes later when Boco sprinted away, but Rogers didn’t commit himself and saved well with his right leg. Galway were now paying into a stiffening breeze and only Alan Keane’s skyward effort from a corner on 59 minutes looked like pushing them to the front once more.

Amazingly Boco was presented with another chance on 64 minutes as Rovers looked increasingly menacing. Once more Rogers proved his nemesis with a good right handed stop. Doherty fizzed a shot narrowly wide of the angle of post and crossbar. Then came an amazing 90 second spell where they could have taken the lead but ended up a man down and looking to hang on for a point.

Glynn again used his pace to race away from Almeida and with no challenge forthcoming, he galloped into the box where Brush narrowed the angle but Glynn rounded him. Stretching for the ball on the end line, he pulled it back across the six yard box but Gavin Peers adapted well after slipping to head the ball while on the deck into the grateful arms of Brush. As Rovers recovered, Murphy picked up the ball inside his own half and was fouled from behind by Alan Keane. A yellow would have been sufficient but Kelly produced a straight red.

Sligo pressed for the winner but failed to create another clear cut opportunity and the game petered out, unbelievably ending with a card count of seven yellows and one red.

Galway United: Rogers; McCulloch, Fitzgerald, Lester, Keane; O’Shea, Murphy, Fenn, Russell (Foley,83); Glynn, Faherty (Conneely, 73). Subs not used:Geraghty, McBrien, Molloy.

Sligo Rovers: Brush; Cretaro, Peers, Almeida, Butler; Cash, (Judge, 80) O‘Grady, Ventre, Doherty; Murphy. Boco. Subs not used: Jennings, McKenzie, Feeney, Curran.

Referee:Alan Kelly

As posted on & by Alan Dooley