Galway United 1; Waterford United 0
Waterford United made their exit from the FAI Cup on Friday night last in Terryland Park following a very good display against a side who are bottom of the Premier League.
The Blues’ cash problems are well known and the fundraising efforts continue apace, including a golf classic and of course the direct debit scheme which was launched by Manchester United star John O’Shea two weeks ago and endorsed by Daryl Murphy on Saturday last.
What was not known until last Thursday was the fact that Galway United put six players on the transfer list because the club announced that they were quarter-of-a-million euro short of projections for the season. Now that is what you would call a major problem.
Just under 1,000 people bothered to turn up for this game so their financial guru Nick Leeson wont be telling manager Jeff Kenna to take any players off the transfer list.
Waterford were unlucky to lose the game as they played some good football, especially in the second half but unfortunately they switched off just before the interval and as a result they missed out on a replay which would have brought in some extra money.
However, they will have taken great heart from this performance against a full-time outfit and following the two-week break they will get back down to the business of beating Dundalk in the league on Friday, June 20th.
Waterford manager Gareth Cronin had intended to play the same team which defeated Limerick in the league the previous Friday but central defender John Hayes pulled out at the last minute so in came Kenny Browne to partner David Breen in the heart of the defence.
He was suspended for the game on the banks of the Shannon. Galway launched the first attack of the game after 13 minutes with a corner kick from the right taken by John Russell but the ball was headed wide by Vinny Flaherty.
Two minutes later the Blues goalkeeper Ben Spicer produced a brilliant diving save from a James O’Shea free kick. Jonathan Keane played the ball forward to Mark Leech on 21 minutes but the son of the legendary Shamrock Rovers striker just failed to reach the ball.
Robbie Clarke, who enjoyed a good game for the Blues at left full-back, laid the ball off to Willie John Kiely on 23 minutes who in turn found Luke Fitzpatrick but he also failed to make contact.
The Blues put together another move on the half hour mark again Clare was involved, this time passing to Willie John Kiely but his shot did not carry any venom. Ben Spicer, the Waterford goalkeeper threw the ball out to Robbie Clarke 6 minutes later and the full back went on a run down the flank before he was fouled.
Kevin Waters took the free after Gary Dunphy had run over it but the midfielder’s effort went over the crossbar. The Blues put together another move on 38 minutes when Michael Foley played a free kick to David Breen. His header came back off the Galway defence and fell to Willie John Kiely but he had his shot from 8 yards saved by the home goalkeeper Gary Rogers, who spread himself to stop the shot with his legs.
The only goal of the game arrived on 43 minutes. John Russell took a short corner kick which was eventually crossed over by Seamus Connelly to Vinny Flaherty; he flicked the ball to the back post where Derek O’Brien was waiting to tuck the ball under the body of Ben Spicer.
In the cup it’s a case on ‘winner takes all’ so it came as no surprise when the visitors went for it in the second half. The Blues had a claim for a penalty on 47 minutes when it appeared that Ressi Nooitmeer nudged Willie Joohn Kiely inside the box but referee Mark Gough waved play on.
The ball broke to Vinny Sullivan who controlled it on his chest before shooting, but not for the first time Gary Rogers in the Galway goal was equal to the task. The goalkeeper was called back into action again on 51 minutes, saving from Luke Fitzpatricck who had met a free taken by Michael Foley.
Galway, who are a very ordinary team, carved out an attack on 65 minutes when Derek O’Brien went down the left wing before picking out James O’Shea at the far post but his diving header was went wide. The same player hit the outside of the post shortly afterwards.
Kieran Fitzgerald, the Waterford right full-back, sent Michael Foley on his merry way on 68 minutes only for the winger to run out of steam and shoot wide. The visitors forced two corner kicks on 81 minutes which caused problems to the Galway defence.
David Grincell came on with 7 minutes of normal time to try and beef up the Waterford attack but the closest they came was in time added on and Vinny Sullivan had an effort taken off the line by John Fitzgerald after Gary Rogers had been beaten.
A brave effort by Waterford but they just came up short.
Galway United: Gary Rogers, Ressi Nooitmeer, James O’Shea, Derek O’Brien, Mark Leech, John Russell, Jonathan Keane, Seamus Connelly, Ollie Fenn, Vinny Flaherty, John Fitzgerald.
Waterford United: Ben Spicer, Kieran Fitzgerald, Robbie Clarke, David Breen, Kenny Browne, Kevin Waters, Gary Dunphy, Luke Fitzpatrick, Vinny Sullivan, Willie John Kiely, Michael Foley. Subs: Joe Mulcahy for Fitzpatrick (75 mins), Karl Bermingham for Kiely (68 mins), David Grincell for Waters (83 mins),
Referee: Mark Gough (Limerick).