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MATCH REPORT: Wexford FC 0-2 Galway United (Men’s First Division)

Galway United earned a valuable three points in their promotion push as they defeated Wexford FC 2-0 at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.  

The win sees United kick off the second half of the season in positive fashion and the Tribesmen now move to 52 points, maintaining their 10-point advantage at the summit of the SSE Airtricity League First Division.  

Captain Conor McCormack bagged his first goal for the club to give the visitors a first half lead, before Ed McCarthy added United’s second after some quick thinking from a set-piece by David Hurley. 

John Caulfield made three changes to the side which defeated Finn Harps on Monday evening, with Rob Slevin returning from suspension to replace Killian Brouder who was serving his own one-game ban. Two of Monday’s goalscorers, Darren Clarke and Rob Manley, dropped to the bench with Francely Lomboto and Vincent Borden coming into the starting lineup.  

There was good news for Galway supporters as Ronan Manning returned to the matchday squad following his injury layoff. 

The opening 10 minutes saw both sides trying to gain a foothold in the game, with United having a lot of possession while Wexford were content to sit back and let the visitors try to break them down. 

The first big chance of the game fell to the Tribesmen after a quarter of an hour as Brendan Clarke’s ball upfield wasn’t dealt with by the Wexford defence and McCarthy capitalised and broke through on goal, but he was denied by a crucial last-ditch tackle from Hugh Douglas. 

United found the breakthrough just three minutes later when McCormack stood over an inswinging corner before delivering it towards the near post where Wexford goalkeeper Charlie Heffernan couldn’t deal with it, and it found its way into the back of the net for the captain’s first goal in maroon.  

The hosts fashioned their first opportunity in the 27th minute when a ball into the box from the right wing found Aaron Dobbs in space in the box, but the Wexford dangerman saw his header go wide of the target.  

United were in pursuit of their second goal before the break and thought they should have had a penalty when a cross to the near post found Stephen Walsh and the Galway man looked to be taken to ground, but the referee waved away the appeals from United’s number 7. 

Moments later, McCormack delivered a dangerous cross into the box and Lomboto met it powerfully and forced an impressive save from Heffernan to keep his side in it.  

The visitors’ hunt for a two-goal cushion looked to be over when a defensive error led to Walsh bearing down on goal from just inside the Wexford half. Walsh drove towards goal and feinted to shoot before opening his body up in an attempt to roll the ball into the corner on his left foot, but Heffernan made another great save to deny him.   

On the stroke of half-time, Borden thought he had doubled Galway’s lead as Heffernan failed to deal with a cross and the ball fell to the feet of the central midfielder, but his half-volley was always rising and flew over the bar. 

United would have been disappointed to have only gone in at half-time one goal to the good and continued their search for daylight in the second half. 

Walsh continued another great performance with an incredible long-range effort which would have had the goal of the season competition wrapped up had it found the net. The ball bobbled up to the striker invitingly about 30-yards from goal and he struck a half-volley that flew towards the top corner, but it agonisingly crashed against the post and away from danger. 

With 57 minutes played, the Tribesmen found their second goal. United won a free kick midway into the Wexford half of the field and Hurley thought quickly to release McCarthy before the Wexford defense could react and the winger was one-on-one with Heffernan, and he calmly slotted the ball into the corner to make it 2-0.  

McCarthy’s joy would turn to pain just five minutes later, as he clashed heads with a Wexford player and the Galway man came out of the clash the worst, which led to him receiving attention for a period before being replaced by Darren Clarke.  

The hosts were much improved in the second half which saw them have more possession but they struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities to the frustrations of the home support. 

In the 84th minute, the frame of the goal was struck again, but at both ends this time. Rob Manley had been introduced in the second period and he used his strength to hold off two Wexford defenders before skillfully laying the ball off to the onrushing Walsh who struck a powerful effort off the post.  

This led to a Wexford counter-attack and the hosts got the ball to Sean Fitzpatrick and after his initial attempt was blocked, he audaciously looked to chip Brendan Clarke and saw his effort bounce off the bar and go out for a goal kick.  

The fourth official added six minutes on at the end of the game and United professionally saw out the final moments to secure another win, leaving themselves in great stead heading into the two-week break.  




Wexford FC: C. Heffernan, H. Douglas, M. Dunne, B. Lynch (S. Fitzpatrick 50’), R. Webb, K. Corbally, J. Crawford, B. McCann (C. Levingston 80’), C. Piper, K. Chambers, A. Dobbs. 

Galway United: B. Clarke, E. O’Connor, R. Slevin, M. Nugent, R. Donelon (O. O’Reilly 87’), E. McCarthy (D. Clarke 67’), V. Borden, C. McCormack, F. Lomboto (R. Manley 58’), D. Hurley (M. Rowe 87’), S. Walsh.  

With the league now taking a two-week break, Galway United will return to action on June 23rd when they welcome Longford Town to Eamonn Deacy Park, kick-off will be at 7:45pm.