Galway United brushed aside Premier Division side UCD on Monday night to reach the Sports Direct Men’s FAI Cup Quarter Final.
David Hurley scored a brilliant first half brace after Wassim Aouachria had put the visitors in front. Ronan Manning added a fourth for the Tribesmen on the stroke of half time, before Rob Manley scored United’s fifth and final goal of the night midway through the second half.
Oisin O’Reilly scored an unfortunate own goal to give the Students a consolation late on, but United held their four-goal lead to book their place in the last eight of the competition.
United were looking to pick up where they had left off on Friday when the original fixture was abandoned at half time with the Tribesmen 2-0 up at half time, and with this in mind, John Caulfield named an unchanged side.
From the moment the game kicked off, any fears of United’s performance dipping from Friday night were put to bed as Ed McCarthy and Ronan Manning linked up well inside the opening minute, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
It took the visitors just five minutes to take the lead when Manning played a defense splitting pass through to Wassim Aouachria who composed himself before delicately chipping the ball over the advancing Kian Moore to give United a dream start.
UCD looked to regroup and gain some control over the next 10 minutes and had a couple of set pieces but failed to create any clear-cut chances or test Brendan Clarke in the Galway goal, who was making his 500th career appearance.
With 15 minutes played, Stephen Walsh chased a ball down the right wing, managed to win possession, and proceeded to drive towards goal and won a free kick on the edge of the box.
Manning and David Hurley stood over the set piece, before Manning rolled the ball to his left for Hurley to strike and the United number 10 drove a powerful shot into the near bottom corner to double the Tribesmen’s lead.
Manning continued to impress when he picked up possession on the left wing and danced inside, beating two UCD players in the process, and picked out Walsh who then teed up McCarthy, but his right footed effort was sliced and flew over the crossbar.
Just after the half hour mark, UCD had their first real opportunity when Dara Keane met a dangerous ball into the box with a deft flick that went just wide of the post.
United’s wingers continued to cause UCD problems and get the away fans on their feet as this time McCarthy showed great footwork to beat his man and win a free kick in a similar position to the previous one Hurley netted from.
The same two men stood over the dead ball, which was at a slightly tighter angle than the first, and performed the same routine and this time Hurley opened his body up and curled his effort perfectly into the far top corner to give United a three-goal lead with 38 minutes on the clock.
United added another on the stroke of half time when Manning whipped a free kick into the box which was defended well by UCD initially, but Evan O’Connor kept the ball alive with a header and Manning latched onto the loose ball in the box and placed a half-volley brilliantly into the bottom corner to make it 4-0.
Having been 2-0 up at the break on Friday night, the travelling supporters were in dreamland with the half-time score line which saw the Tribesmen four goals to the good and their Quarter Final place all but secured.
The half time break saw United make one substitution with Oisin O’Reilly replacing Regan Donelon.
The second half began with no real chances falling for either team until just before the hour mark when UCD created one of their best opportunities of the tie. Jack Keaney rose well and got a header away from close range and it whistled just wide of Clarke’s post.
UCD were much improved in the second 45 minutes having changed shape at half time which saw them adopt a 4-3-3 formation.
In the 65th minute, United made a double substitution with Rob Manley and Maurice Nugent entering the fray.
Moments later, Manley scored with his very first touch. An excellent corner kick delivery by Hurley picked out the United number 9 at the back post and he made no mistake, planting his header into the top corner to make it 5-0 to the men in maroon.
The second half continued in the same vein as it had done before Manley’s goal, with both teams having spells of possession, without creating real goalscoring opportunities.
Five minutes from time, a dangerous cross into the United box was unfortunately met by substitute Oisin O’Reilly at the back post and UCD had one back, but it would merely be a consolation.
As the full-time whistle rang around the UCD Bowl, the travelling Maroon Army were audibly ecstatic with their sides dominant performance against a Premier Division team in UCD and they now have a mouth-watering home tie against Dundalk to look forward to in Terryland in September.
Manager John Caulfield spoke to the media after the game:
We felt with our intensity and our pace that we could cause problems. It was a real top professional performance, and it puts us in the next round. There’s a great bond between the supporters and the players”
Brendan Clarke also spoke post-match:
We knew we had to start fast, and we did. We were 4-0 up at half time and the game is over then, so it’s just about seeing it out and being professional. The focus straight away switches to a massive game on Friday”
UCD: K. Moore, M. Gallagher, E. Osam, A. Wells, J. Keaney, B. Barr (C. Behan 54’), D. Keane, D. Kinsella Bishop, D. Norris (J. Doyle 66’), S. Brennan, A. Verdon (D. Higgins 54’).
Galway United: B. Clarke, E. O’Connor, R. Slevin, K. Brouder, R. Donelon (O. O’Reilly 46’), E. McCarthy (F. Lomboto 76’), V. Borden (M. Nugent 65’), D. Hurley, R. Manning, S. Walsh (A. Dervin 76’), W. Aouachria (R. Manley 65’).
Next up, Galway United are back at home as they welcome Cobh Ramblers to Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday August 25th, kick off is at 7:45pm.