Treaty United’s early unbeaten start to the Airtricity League First Division season came to an end on Monday night in a 2-1 defeat to Galway United at Eamon Deacy Park. First-half goals from Wilson Waweru and Stephen Walsh gave the home side a commanding lead at the break before former Galway man Enda Curran replied for Treaty in the second half and ensured a very nervy last half an hour for the Tribesmen.
Within 5 minutes of the opening, a fast start by John Caulfield’s team was rewarded with an early goal through Wilson Waweru. Charlie Fleming headed a corner clear but Ed McCarthy was quickest to react to the second ball to head the ball in the direction of Waweru who managed to hit the ball into the ground and over Jack Brady for the opener.
Treaty created their first chance after 20 minutes when good build up play on the right between Fleming and Keane resulted in a cross from the former which Curran volleyed wide under pressure from Killian Brouder. Galway are known for their direct approach and it almost paid divdends on the half hour mark when Treaty failed to deal with a looping cross from Alex Murphy and Stephen Walsh, who has been converted from a defender to a striker this season, fired just wide of Brady’s post.
Shortly afterwards, the lively Steven Christopher beat Conor O’Keefe on the left before delivering a fizzing cut-back to Curran whose header travelled just over Conor Kearns crossbar. As half-time approach, there was a controversial moment as Joe Gorman appeared to go down under contact from Walsh and the striker managed to beat the challenges of two Treaty players before burying the ball into the top corner beyond the despairing attempts of Lee Devitt on the line. Treaty players and management were irate that a foul had not been awarded in the build up when Gorman went down.
That sense of injustice seemed to spur Barrett’s charges on in the second period and the manager made a number of attacking changes in an attempt to claw their way back into the game. The likes of Dean George and Joel Coustrain were introduced and with over 20 minutes remaining, Treaty got the goal that their second half performance deserved when substitute Kieran Hanlon’s flick wasn’t dealt with by centre-back Portilla and Curran raced onto a poor back pass to beat Kearns to the ball and slide it into the empty net.
Galway began to retreat massively after that and invited a lot of Treaty pressure. With just over ten minutes remaining, Curran almost had a second as his overhead kick went just wide inside the penalty area. Walsh almost grabbed his second of the game for the home side when hesitancy from Joe Gorman allowed substitute Manu Dimas to play him through but his effort was saved.
With normal time almost up, Hanlon had a glorious chance to equalise for the Limerick side when Dean George’s shot was palmed out by Kearns but the striker’s blazed his effort over the bar from close range. Referee Michael Connolly brought an end to proceedings shortly after Gorman came close with a header and the home side emerged with the victory to keep their unbeaten start to the season going.
Treaty will now face Cork City at the Markets Field on Friday with an earlier kick-off time of 3pm.
Galway United: Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keefe, Diego Portilla, Killian Brouder, Alex Murphy, Conor McCormack, David Hurley, Mikie Rowe (Gary Boylan 76), Ed McCarthy, Wilson Waweru (Manu Dimas 67), Stephen Walsh
Treaty United: Jack Brady, Charlie Fleming, Sean Guerins, Joe Gorman, Marc Ludden, Lee Devitt (Kieran Hanlon) , Mark Walsh (Dean George 58), Callum McNamara (Willie Armshaw 87), Steven Christopher, Matt Keane (Joel Coustrain 58), Enda Curran (Colin Conroy 87)