Galway United managed to secure their spot in the second round of the EA Sports Cup as they recorded a marginal 3-2 win against a tenacious Finn Harps at Eamonn Deacy Park.
The Donegal-based outfit simply couldn’t avoid falling to defeat in a clash that echoed their 1-0 loss to United in the second round of the same competition last year.
Match Report courtesy of www.extratime.ie
Right from the very start of proceedings, Galway looked like the better team, and they found their first opportunity near goal when new signing Sam Oji looked to build upon the strike he converted against Derry City by getting a shot off in the eighth minute from just outside the edge of the area. Unfortunately, this time he couldn’t score.
Kevin McHugh fired a shot in anger a few minutes later for the visitors after a decent jinking run, but his attempted long-range cracker was deflected away to safety.
Jason Molloy and Padraic Cunningham looked dangerous for the home side but a lacklustre approach at times meant they had to wait until the 22nd minute for the breakthrough.
Indeed, it was Cunningham who grabbed the opening goal of the night after he was played in by Jake Keegan from the left flank. Connecting nicely with the flight of the ball, the 18-year-old sent what few home fans were present wild.
However, it had been Molloy who began the move with a lovely ball into the channel for his team-mate Keegan to chase. It looked as though they would kick on from there.
Soon they did, as in the 37th minute of the tie, Galway had doubled their lead through wide-man Gary Shanahan. On this occasion it was Molloy who provided the assist, again from the left wing.
In the second half, Ollie Horgan’s men began to assert themselves a great deal more. And they soon found a way past Conor Gleeson in the Galway net through Brian McGroary. Powering home a cross in a crowded box, he made Tommy Dunne’s team pay for being uncharacteristically poor after the restart.
Jake Keegan, who had a great game, was to be the man to alleviate the worries of the home crowd momentarily. after he was cut down inside the penalty area in the 68th minute.. From 12 yards out, the American made no mistake.
Harps were in no mood to lie down and take a beating and they quickly found a way to cut the deficit once more as Keith Cowan smashed home their second of the night to stun the Dunne’s men.
There and then, proceedings turned a little scrappy as each outfit struggled to maintain possession or control.
Late on, Galway even saw an effort smack off the post as they went on a free-flowing counter-attack, but there were to be no more goals despite an increase in the excitement levels.
Up next for Galway, The Tribesmen face their first away clash of the season against Bohemians in the Premier Division, while Horgan’s men look to avoid defeat against an in-form Cabinteely side.
Galway United: Conor Gleeson; Stephen Walsh, Sam Oji (Andy O’ Connell 62), Cormac Raftery, Colm Horgan; Jason Molloy, David O’ Leary, Alex Byrne (Ryan Connolly 76), Gary Shanahan, Jake Keegan (Enda Curran 90), Padraic Cunningham.
Subs not used: Connor Winn (gk), Antaine O’ Laoi, Aaron McDonagh, Conor Barry.
Bookings: Walsh (26), Horgan (26), O’Leary (31)
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Thomas McMonagle, Josh Mailey, Keith Cowan, Ciaran Coll; Wilfried Tagbo, Gerard O’ Callaghan (Ruairi Keating 60), Brian McGroary (Adam Clarke 74), Gareth Harkin; Kevin McHugh, Garbhan Friel (Raymond Foy 60)
Subs not used: Tony McNamee, Tommy Lee McCarron, Michael Funston, Regan Donelon
Bookings: Cowan (84)
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