Galway United continued their winning run with an impressive 2-0 victory over Cobh Ramblers at St. Colman’s Park on Friday evening.
Goals from Vincent Borden and Ronan Manning either side of half time made it five wins in a row for United as their lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League First Division was extended to five points.
The Tribesmen made the trip down south off the back of their resounding 9-1 win over Kerry to face a Cobh side who were also unbeaten in the league coming into this top of the table clash. John Caulfield made one change to the starting lineup with Ibrahim Keita coming in after his brace off the bench against Kerry.
The opening couple of minutes saw the hosts trying to get on the front foot and create some chances but their early pressure was well fought off from the strong United backline. Galway suffered a huge blow in the first 10 minutes as Regan Donelon went down injured and was forced off with Conor O’Keeffe replacing him.
United didn’t let the injury affect them as they began to really gain a foothold in the game with spells of possession and pressure while they limited Ramblers to very little opportunities. Ed McCarthy picked the ball up on the right wing after 20 minutes and began one of his marauding runs forward as he beat his man and came inside before striking just wide of the post from the edge of the area.
Ibrahim Keita caused the Cobh defence problems throughout the game with his hold-up play and after 23 minutes he laid the ball off to his strike partner Stephen Walsh whose shot was vitally blocked by Cian Browne forcing a corner for the visitors.
The deadlock was broken after 35 minutes as Conor McCormack laid off a free kick into the path of Vincent Borden who fired his strike powerfully into the bottom right corner from distance to grab his fourth goal of this campaign.
The Tribesmen almost doubled their lead just after the break as McCarthy was played in on goal and looked to square it to Walsh who had the goal at his mercy but for a crucial interception by Charlie Lyons to force a corner.
United created another opportunity to extend their lead just moments later as Borden played the ball to McCormack in the box, he cut back onto his left foot, but his strike was saved and held well by goalkeeper Lee Steacy after 51 minutes.
The hosts made a triple substitution after 58 minutes in an attempt to change the tide and get a goal back with James O’Leary being introduced and having an immediate impact as he worked the ball to Jack Doherty who forced a save from Brendan Clarke. O’Leary was involved again as he worked the ball to Doherty once more, but his right footed strike was saved by Clarke.
Just as Cobh looked to be creating some chances, United doubled their advantage through Ronan Manning after 63 minutes. Keita pounced on a defensive error and found himself bearing down on goal, Steacy did well in the Ramblers goal to stop Keita but the ball broke as far as Manning who calmly slotted into the bottom corner to open his account for the season.
That goal really dented Ramblers’ confidence and saw United control proceedings for the remainder of the half. Substitute Francely Lomboto caused the home side problems with his pace and power in the closing stages as he looked to create another goal for United.
Cobh attempted to grab a goal back in stoppage time as they pushed men forward for the final stages, but struggled to trouble Clarke in the United goal.
Galway United saw out the victory to claim all three points and extend their winning run to five at the start of the season.
Manager John Caulfield gave his thoughts on the game post-match:
‘I thought we played well, passed well, and controlled the game’
‘We are happy to go home with three points’
‘All that matters for me is that when we get to October hopefully we are promoted and that’s what we’re trying to do’
Galway United: B. Clarke, C. Horgan, R. Slevin, K. Brouder, R. Donelon (C. O’Keeffe 8’), E. McCarthy (D. Clarke 77’), C. McCormack, V. Borden (M. Nugent 77’), R. Manning (F. Lomboto 77’), I. Keita (D. Hurley 66’), S. Walsh.
Cobh Ramblers: L. Steacy, C. Browne, B. Frahill, C. Lyons, M. McCarthy, J. Abbott, L. Desmond (C. Stringer 57’), I. Kargbo (J. O’Leary 57), T. O’Brien (J. Hegarty 57’), P. Phillips, J. Doherty.
Galway United face Longford Town at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday, March 24th at 7:45 pm.
Match Tickets are available HERE