After an August to forget where Galway United’s title charge went off the tracks with an ill-timed loss of form, United were hoping to restart things with the trip to Cobh on Friday night.
Unfortunately, it proved to be another frustrating night, a night where even the most optimistic United supporters gave up any faint hopes of securing the title. In fact, with Cork securing a late winner over Waterford, another Cork victory in EDP on Friday would secure them the trophy.
United were without top goal scorer Stephen Walsh, and by god was he missed. The Tribesmen started the game impressively and shot out of the blocks from the start.
However, despite having the lion’s share of possession and an abundance of goalscoring opportunities, they were unable to make the all-important breakthrough.
Ed McCarthy, Dave Hurley, Rob Manley and Wilson Waweru all had unsuccessful efforts, with Wilson hitting the butt of the post.
Things got even worse in the 31st minute when Cobh won a free kick just inside the Galway half . Remarkably Darragh O’Sullivan-Connell’s mis-hit cross caught Conor Kearns by surprise and went in off the crossbar. A scarcely believable goal.
United attempted to rally before the break, but in keeping with the course of the game, numerous other efforts were off target. United would have 15 first-half unsuccessful efforts on goal.
The second half was a difficult affair, with the home pitch a hindrance and the Cobh side winding down the clock at every available opportunity.
With the bench emptied and the clock running out, it would take a 96th-minute Mike Rowe effort to rescue a point. The Wexford native tucking home beautifully after good work-up play by Wilson.
Two further points dropped, however, along with the news that the late Cork winner was not the perfect tonic for the long trip home.
Full-time at St Colemans park
Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keeffe, Charlie Lyons, David Hurley (Francely Lombato 55), James Finnerty, Ronan Manning, Wilson Waweru, Conor McCormack (David Tarmey 78), Ed McCarthy (Mikie Rowe 78), Max Hemmings (Oisin O’Reilly 78), Rob Manley (Bastien Hery 55).
Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Brendan Frahill, Pierce Phillips (Jason Abbott 76), Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh (Sean McGrath 85), Jake Hegarty, Daragh O’Sullivan Connell (John Kavanagh 68), Luke Desmond (Dale Holland 68), James McCarthy (James O’Leary 85), Michael McCarthy, Justin Eguaibor.