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Match Report | Shelbourne 1-2 Galway United (Women’s Premier Division)

Galway United secured a big win when they ran out 2-1 winners over current Women’s Premier Division champions Shelbourne on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds took the lead through Jessie Stapleton early on but United battled back and goals from Aoife Thompson and Jenna Slattery game the Tribeswomen the three points at Tolka Park.

Phil Trill opted for two changes to his side after defeat against Bohemians last weekend. Jessica Berlin came into the side to make her debut for the club while Aoife Thompson returned to the starting line-up having come off the bench during the loss to Bohs. 

The current League and Cup champions had a perfect start to the game when an Alex Kavanagh corner-kick was met by Jessie Stapleton in the third minute to give Shelbourne the lead – the goal putting United on the back front early on.

It was nearly two just a couple of minute later when Jemma Quinn was played in on goal by Megan Smyth-Lynch, but the striker’s effort came back off the woodwork.

Jenna Slattery went close for the Tribeswomen in the 22nd minute when Gemma McGuinness was fouled by Noelle Murray. Slattery’s free-kick was struck well but it kept rising and went inches over the crossbar.

United went close just before halftime when Slattery had another free-kick opportunity in a dangerous position. The midfielder dispatched the shot expertly, but Shelbourne goalkeeper Courtney Maguire managed to dive across goal and push the ball onto the woodwork to deny the Tribeswomen.

United turned the game on its head just before the hour mark. Aoife Thompson was played in by Gemma McGuinness for a one-on-one with Maguire, the striker rounded the shot stopper and set herself up for an easy tap-in to bring the side level in the 56th minute.

Just two minutes later and the Tribeswomen were ahead, Slattery with another free-kick and this time she managed to beat the goalkeeper. The ball was struck beautifully and sailed into the bottom left corner of the goal despite Maguire’s best efforts to dive across her goal.

The game became more challenging for United with 20 minutes to go after the dismissal of McGuinness who received a second yellow card and was sent off by referee David Dunne.

Shelbourne substitute Kerri Letmon went close shortly after her introduction when she raced down the right flank, she made it deep inside the Galway box, but her shot was saved well by Jessica Berlin.

The Reds went close to equalising again in injury time when Ruvimbo Mucherera squared the ball to Sophie Watters but her shot was saved by Berlin thanks to some good positioning by the goalkeeper.

Smyth-Lynch then rattled the woodwork late on when she broke through the defence with United just managing to hold out for a huge win.

Shelbourne FC: Courtney Maguire; Keeva Keenan, Maggie Pierce, Pearl Slattery (Leah F Doyle 60), Jessie Stapleton; Rachel Graham (Sophie Watters 81), Alex Kavanagh, Siobhan Killeen (Ruvimbo Mucherera 60), Megan Smyth-Lynch; Noelle Murray (Kayla Hamric 60), Jemma Quinn (Kerri Letmon 71).

Galway United Women: Jessica Berlin; Aoibheann Costello, Eve Dossen, Jamie Erickson, Therese Kinnevey (Amy Madden 75); Isabella Beletic, Gemma McGuinness, Lynsey McKey, Jenna Slattery (Nicole McNamara 81), Kate Thompson; Aoife Thompson (Siobhan Doolan 75).

Referee: David Dunne.