SHELBOURNE 1 (Connolly 32′)
GALWAY FC 1 (Keegan 86′)
A late goal scored by Galway FC’s Jake Keeganmeant that the Connaght men escaped with a share of the spoils from Tolka Park after nine man Shels had taken a first half lead through a wonder goal from Dylan Connolly.
Shels last home game of the season got off to a slow start with chances hard to come by as both sides started the game in scrappy, lacklustre fashion. Galway really only had a Jake Keegan effort to show for their play in the opening 15 minutes while Shels saw John Sullivan and Sean Russell have solid efforts on Conor Gleeson’s goal early on in the contest.
Then just as we approached the25th minute mark Jake Donnelly received the ball on the edge after Conor Murphy headed the ball down. Donnelly then on the edge of the Shels box hit a heavily deflected effort which almost looped over Gleeson, with the ball instead finding the top netting of the Galway goal.
Shels fans had Willo McDonnagh to thank for not falling behind on the half hour mark after he cleared Paddy Barrett’s half volley off his own goal line.
Just two minutes later Dylan Connolly tried to put his name in the hat for “Goal of the Season” as he picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and simply let fly with a cracking goal that ended up in the top corner giving Conor Gleeson no hope.
Just before half time Paddy Barrett once again tried his luck, this time after a corner dropped to the centre back eight yards out from goal. However the end result was somewhat disappointing as the unmarked player failed to hit the target.
Galway were so close to getting the second half off to the perfect start as Vinny Faherty tried to steer Ryan Manning’s corner into the Shelbourne goal but instead Faherty only managed to smash the ball yards over the cross bar.
On the hour mark Galway were handed a life line as Brian Gannon was sent off for handling the ball on the line. However his red card may have been worth receiving after Nathan Murphy then stepped up to save Irish U19 international Ryan Manning’s spot kick to keep his side in the lead.
With just over 15 minutes to go Jake Keegan once again raced clear of the Shelbourne defence only to scoop his effort wide of Murphy’s goal.
Referee Sean Grant was certainly not endearing himself to the locals as a number of rash Galway challenges went unpunished with the Tolka Park faithful making sure Mr. Grant was fully aware of their displeasure.
Galway really should have drawn level as the game entered its final stages as Padraig Cunningham ran through on goal only to be denied by an outstretched leg of Galway net minder Conor Gleeson.
Minutes laterJake Keegan did score that elusive Galway goal after a pile of bodies in the box resulted in the ball being scrambled over the line past a helpless Nathan Murphy.
Then deep into injury time John Sullivan became the second Shels player to receive a straight red card after he was dismissed harshly for a mistimed sliding tackle much to the dismay of the unfortunate player whose season is now almost certainly over.
Shelbourne: Nathan Murphy, Brian Gannon, Adam O’Connor, John O’Sullivan, Lee Desmond, Willo McDonagh (Gareth Coughlan 79′), Luke Gallagher, Sean Russell, Dylan Connolly, Jake Donnelly, Conor Murphy (Lee Murtagh 84′).
Substitutes not used: Lee Duffy, Philip Hand, Alan O’Sullivan, Anthony Hewitt, Charlie Tracey.
Galway FC: Conor Gleeson, Colm Horgan, Marc Ludden (Padriag Cunningham 75′), Paddy Barrett, Paul synnott, Martin Conneely (Stephen Walsh 53′), Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne, Vinny Faherty, Jake Keegan, Ryan Manning.
Substitutes not used: Ger Hanley, Cormac Rafferty, Robbie Egan, Jason Molloy, Enda Curran.
Referee: Sean Grant
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Dylan Connolly (Shelbourne)