Tricky cup tie for United at Killester

Stephen Folan of Galway United in action against Michael Duffy of Dundalk during the EA Sports Cup semi-final match between Galway United and Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday.

Stephen Folan of Galway United in action against Michael Duffy of Dundalk during the EA Sports Cup semi-final match between Galway United and Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday.

Galway United face a tricky FAI Cup First Round tie away to Killester United on Sunday at Haddon Park, kick off 2pm.

Shane Keegan’s team enjoyed a hugely encouraging away SSE Airtricity League win over Finn Harps before losing an EA Sports Cup Semi-Final at Eamonn Deacy Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

That was a controversial defeat for United, who were unfortunate to concede a hotly debated penalty in the second half. Dundalk eventually emerged three goal victors, but, not for the first time this season United had grounds to feel seriously aggrieved.

Ultimately the triumph over Harps mattered more, though, for United, who were inspired by two splendid Ronan Murray goals.

Gavan Holohan also got on the scoresheet for Keegan’s charges, who departed armed with three important points.

Between the sticks Conor Winn was outstanding, making a string of fine saves, while captain Colm Horgan led by example throughout. Horgan carried out his defensive duties in impressive fashion, while also bursting forward at every available opportunity.

In the centre of the park Alex Byrne, David Cawley, and Holohan continue to combine effectively.

Recent recruit Jonah Ayunga was splendid at centre forward, holding up the play and bringing others into the game. A beautifully struck Ayunga effort crashed off the post which was a pity because the striker, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, impressed the satisfied United travelling support.

Unfortunately the Tribesmen’s EA Sports Cup run was terminated by an experienced Dundalk outfit on Monday. Now the attention switches to the FAI Cup, a competition the club hasn’t won since current assistant manager Johnny Glynn netted a famous winning goal in the 1991 decider against Shamrock Rovers.

While the Dundalk EA Sports Cup reversal was a blow, United will be anxious to respond against Killester this weekend. Keegan is likely to afford youngsters such as Eoin McCormack and Ronan Manning game time in the capital.

Manning had a fine cameo in Ballybofey in the closing moments when United finished stongly. An exciting attacker Manning has the potential to make a good contribution in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Former Ballinasloe Town frontrunner McCormack is another promising performer, who has caught Keegan’s eye and will be pushing for inclusion against Killester. Reaching the last 16 of the FAI Cup is United’s mission ahead of the August 18 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division encounter tussle with Shamrock Rovers at Eamonn Deacy Park.

On the same day St Patrick’s Athletic host Finn Harps, while Sligo Rovers travel to Turners Cross to face Cork City. It will be a revealing evening in the race for top flight survival, but before then United must produce a solid display in the cup on Sunday.

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