Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Galway United
Shamrock Rovers were worthy winners of this very important game played at Tallaght Stadium this afternoon. Conditions were difficult, especially in the first half with driving rain and a strong wind that blew across the pitch. Still, the Hoops were the more positive of the two sides in the first half but had nothing to show for it going in at half time. The visitors seemed more focussed on containment and perhaps snatching a goal but the Hoops wanted nothing less than a win as they sought to stay in first place in the league table and progress one more step towards winning the section.
With Richie English, Harry Cornally and Evan Smithers in the centre of the park they created plenty but their finishing at times let them down. Cian Collins was absent with a hamstring problem but Adam O’Connor proved a capable deputy.
Rovers put Galway under a lot of pressure as half time approached and with two minutes on the clock English tried a repeat of the spectacular shot from which he scored against Bray two weeks ago but this time it didn’t come off. So the teams trotted into the dressing rooms with the scoreboard reading nil-all at half time.
That was to change quickly though after the resumption. Galway had a good chance straight from the off with a free which Ronan Manning sent wide. The Hoops mounted a quick counter attack from which Evan Smithers won them a corner. A nice delivery from English saw Sean Callan get up to meet the ball and head across the line to break the deadlock.
Galway were still dusting themselves down from that when Rovers struck again. Emmanuel Lawal sent the ball in from Rovers’ right and Harry Cornally seized quickly upon it to drive to the roof of the net. It was certainly game on after that as the lads from the West tried hard to get themselves back into it.
Rovers did their job well as a complete unit though and with the cushion of a two-goal margin the pressure was off them. The movement, the passing and general play must have pleased manager Aiden Price to no end and the win brings his team a step further in their pursuit of honours this season.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Kian Clarke, 2. Darren Prendergast, 5. Conor Gleeson, 4. Adam O’Connor, 18. Sean Callan, 17. Emmanuel Lawal, 14. Evan Smithers, 8. Harry Cornally ©, 10. Richie English, 11. Kenny Cunningham, 9. Dean Williams.
Substitutes: 25. Adam Kenny, 24. Darragh O’Connor, 6. Evan White (for English 80 mins), 21. Luke Kelly (for Smithers 65 mins), 22. Thomas Oluwa (for Cornally 72 mins).
Report and photos by Robert Goggins