Basement battle weighs heavy on United's youngsters

Galway United's Marc Ludden and Ryan Brennan of Shelbourne in action from the SSE Airtricity League first division clash at Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United's Marc Ludden and Ryan Brennan of Shelbourne in action from the SSE Airtricity League first division clash at Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United make the long trek to Ferrycarrig Park for an SSE Airtricity League first division clash against Wexford FC tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).

Alan Murphy's youthful side will be hoping to edge further away from basement club Wexford, who currently trail United by five points.

Last Friday United endured a heavy 3-0 defeat at Eamonn Deacy Park when table-toppers Shelbourne ruthlessly exploited mistakes made by the home team.

“I’m disappointed with the scoreline," Murphy admitted. "Am I disappointed with the performance? Probably not hugely disappointed, but I’m hugely disappointed with the mistakes that we made.

“If you give Shelbourne a goal after two minutes, with the squad of experienced players they have in comparison to the inexperienced side we have, you’re signing your death warrant on the night.

"Then you hand them easier goals than that again, tuning out from a simple free kick down on the right hand side crossed in for the third goal. Really disappointed with those errors.”

United's cause was not helped by the departure of Shane Doherty, who had been a prominent figure for the Tribesmen in recent weeks. The well-regarded Doherty has returned to the United States of America for family reasons. The pacy attacker, a native of Delran in New Jersey, will be a significant loss for United.

"Football will always be a huge priority to me," Doherty explained in an emotional social media post. "However, family comes first to everything in my life. My dad's health has declined to the point that after a lot of hard discussion and thought, we all agreed that I needed to get home to be there for my family and have some time with my dad.

"Galway United have been absolutely incredible to me. From everyone working behind the scenes on match day to the players and coaching staff, you'd be hard pressed to find a better group of people."

Doherty praised manager Alan Murphy and his staff for giving him an opportunity to feature in the United shirt.

"I cannot speak highly enough about everyone at this club, including all of the fans who have been unreal this season. It has been a challenging year for us all, but with the current group of people at the club, we are heading in the right direction.

"The foundation is being made for the club to build on, and I am so lucky to have been a part of this process. I cannot thank the manager and coaching staff enough for taking a chance on me, as well as the players who have accepted me right in and made me feel so welcome. The pleasure was all mine, and I am forever thankful for letting me represent this great club."

For the remainder of the campaign United's squad, which is packed with teenagers, will continue to gather experience, but an improved performance is necessary in the south east.

With only four wins registered from 19 matches so far, United will be eager to accumulate points in the remaining eight fixtures of this season's first division campaign.

On Monday United's Under 17s, now managed by Gary O'Connor, delivered a much improved performance at Eamonn Deacy Park to defeat Sligo Rovers 2-0 in the Mark Farren Cup. The excellent Eli Sheedy and Charlie Concannon struck for United, who were inspired by splendid defensive contributions from captain Liam Corcoran and Ben Molloy.

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