Galway United extended their winning run to 11 as they defeated Cobh Ramblers 1-0 in front of a sold out Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
The only goal of the game was scored by United’s top goalscorer Vincent Borden five minutes into the second half as he connected perfectly with the dropping ball in the Cobh box and struck a volley into the top corner.
United made one change to their lineup as Conor O’Keeffe came in to replace captain Conor McCormack in the midfield.
The Tribesmen kicked off and looked for the opener immediately as Stephen Walsh was found in the box just 60 seconds in, he quickly turned and fired towards goal but Ramblers goalkeeper Lee Steacy got down well at his near post to make the save.
The visitors defended well in the opening 45 minutes and showed their intent on the counter-attack as Charlie O’Brien exhibited, forcing Brendan Clarke into action following a United long throw in at the other end.
With 17 minutes played, the ball was played to Killian Brouder who found himself on the edge of the box and he had a shot which looked destined for the corner but was well saved by Steacy who tipped it around the post.
United built on this opportunity and kept the pressure on as O’Keeffe met a corner well, but his glancing header looped just over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Colm Horgan crossed dangerously into the area which Cobh struggled to deal with and it went through as far as Walsh at the back post who took a touch and shot past Steacy this time, but it was agonisingly cleared off the line to deny Walsh his sixth of the season.
Cobh threatened on the counter once again just before the 30-minute mark as dangerman Jack Doherty picked the ball up and began a run down the right wing, he got to the end line and took on his man before squaring into the box, but it was well claimed by Clarke again in the United goal.
With 42 minutes on the clock, the ball was played out to Francely Lomboto who took on his man and came inside before teeing up Colm Horgan on the edge of box, but his shot flew just over the crossbar and the sides went in at the break all square.
The second half began with Cobh winning a free-kick on the right wing in what looked like a crossing position, but Jack Doherty struck left-footed goalwards which forced Clarke to tip the ball over for a corner.
United regained control and with 50 minutes played the ball came down from a great height above Eamonn Deacy Park and Borden met it sweetly with his right foot and his volley flew into the top corner to put the league leaders 1-0 up.
Five minutes later, the hosts almost doubled their lead as Horgan again delivered a great cross into the box to Walsh who cushioned the ball to David Hurley who turned and had his shot blocked only as far as Lomboto but his effort was too central and was saved by Steacy.
On the hour mark, United won themselves a free-kick which substitute Conor McCormack stood over alongside Hurley, he laid it off to the United number 10 whose shot was powerfully struck and could only be parried away by Steacy.
Ed McCarthy began one of his powerful runs forward with 72 minutes played, taking on the Cobh defence before letting fly with a strong strike from the edge of the box which had to be pushed over by Steacy for a corner.
Cobh’s hopes for an equaliser suffered a huge blow with 15 minutes to play as Jack Doherty stayed down after coming out on the wrong side of a challenge and he had to be stretchered off after a lengthy stoppage in the play.
United continued their efforts to extend their advantage as substitute Maurice Nugent slipped the ball to Hurley who nutmegged his man and had his cross blocked for the corner.
The final stages of the game saw the visitors look to pile pressure on the United defence with crosses into the box, but the maroon rearguard stood strong and dealt with the pressure from the Cork side.
In the sixth minute of stoppage time the ball was played back to Steacy in the Ramblers goal who took a touch which invited Walsh to pressure the keeper, he blocked down the clearance and it looked to be goal-bound but it only found the side netting, with the home crowd acknowledging the tireless efforts of Walsh.
The full-time whistle was greeted with massive applause from the United faithful as the Tribesmen maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the First Division table.
Colm Horgan spoke to the media post-match:
It was a really tough game, I thought we played really well”
“We’ve been playing well all year, we worked our socks off again tonight, the clean sheet is massive and if we can keep getting them the boys up front will score goals”
“We have to do it again Monday, today doesn’t matter unless we back it up again on Monday”
Galway United: B. Clarke, C. Horgan, K. Brouder, R. Slevin, R. Donelon (C. McCormack 57’), C. O’Keeffe, V. Borden (M. Rowe 81’), D. Hurley, F. Lomboto (D. Clarke 67’), E. McCarthy (M. Nugent 81’), S. Walsh.
Cobh Ramblers: L. Steacy, J. Eguaibor, B. Frahill, M. McCarthy, D. O’Sullivan-Connell, C. O’Brien (T. O’Brien 89’), J. O’Leary, D. Holland (L. Desmond 89’), J. Abbott (C. Osorio 89’), J. Doherty (L. Kervick 80’), J. Hegarty (C. Drinan 76’).
Next up, Galway United travel to Bishopsgate to face Longford Town on Monday May 1st at 7:30pm.
The GUFC Co-Op are running a supporters bus to Bishopsgate on Monday, leaving the Connacht Hotel at 4:30pm and stopping at the Maldron Hotel Oranmore at 4:45pm, more details can be found HERE
Match Tickets can be purchased HERE