Tuesday 22 January 2019

Dennehy salvages a priceless point for Saints

Galway United 1-1 St Patrick's Athletic

St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley
St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Galway United lost two valuable points as they could only draw with St Patrick's Athletic at Eamonn Deacy Park and their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division status looks increasingly at risk.

Galway took the lead in the first half when young striker Eoin McCormack calmly slotted in the 36th minute. But that was soon cancelled out by Billy Dennehy and it was 1-1 at half-time in front of 2,164 fans.

St Pat's were the better side in the early exchanges and Conan Byrne's cross was almost finished to the net by Dennehy inside the opening minute.

But Galway came to terms with the skilful St Pat's midfielders and they assumed complete control after the opening ten minutes.

The visitors' goalkeeper Lukasz Skowron had made a last-ditch tackle to prevent Ronan Murray from going through on goal in the 13th minute.

Two minutes later, both of the Galway centre-halves, Stephen Folan and Niall Maher, had chances in the St Pat's penalty area.

And one of Galway's best opportunities of the half arrived in the 17th minute when Marc Ludden's shot was saved brilliantly by Skowron.

Murray was denied again as Galway piled on the pressure but they could not break down a resolute St Pat's defence, along with an in-form goalkeeper.

However, while Galway might not have been decisive with their early chances, McCormack showed massive composure to finish past Skowron after a superb assist from Murray in the 36th minute.

Galway should have held their line until half-time but they were caught on the counter-attack in the 45th minute with a sensational volley from Dennehy.

Conan Byrne wreaked more havoc down the right wing and his cross was met by Dennehy at the back post.

St Pat's could have taken the lead in the 67th minute but Graham Kelly saw his shot saved by Winn.

Galway had further chances and Folan shot wide from a training ground free-kick routine, but they couldn't find the winner and remain in deep relegation trouble.

St Pat's are also far from safe, with matches against Cork and Derry to come, but this could yet prove to be a very valuable point.

Galway United - Winn; Maher, Folan, Horgan; Devaney, Cawley, Hale, Ludden; Holohan (Melody 76), Murray; McCormack (Cunningham 86).

St Pat's Ath - Skowron; Kelly, Balk, Desmond, Bermingham; Garvan, O'Conor (Barker 55), Brennan; C Byrne (Turner 86), Dennehy, Fagan (K Byrne 59).

REF - R Rogers (Dublin)

Irish Independent

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