Treaty United endured their first defeat in 7 games in dramatic fashion as they lost 2-3 to Galway United in a pulsating encounter at the Markets Field. Treaty took a 2 goal lead into the final 15 minutes through a brace from Dean George but an incredible fightback from the visitors saw Ronan Manning, Alex Murphy and Stephen Walsh score in the last 15 minutes to give Galway victory.
Galway should have opened the scoring in the opening two minutes when the impressive David Hurley drove at the heart of the Treaty defence before squaring for Manu Dimas who curled over the bar from the inside the penalty area.
The visitors created another chance when a series of one-two’s down the left between Hurley, Alex Murphy and Wilson Waweru resulted in the latter shooting straight at Brady. Despite soaking up some early pressure, it was Treaty who took the lead when a perfectly waited cross from Marc Ludden was attacked brilliantly at the front post by Dean George who glanced his header into the far corner of the net.
The quality of crosses from Treaty’s full-backs have been high all season and Charlie Fleming’s delivery picked out Lee Devitt but the winger’s stopping header caused little trouble. Stephen Walsh was starting as a striker for the Tribesmen again and he blocked down an attempted clearance from Sean Guerins and as he bore down on goal, he looked certain to score but was denied by an in-form Jack Brady.
As half-time approached, Wilson Waweru thought he had equalised for John Caulfield’s men but his header was ruled out for offside and that would be the last action of an entertaining first half. Treaty were forced into a half-time substitution with Conor Melody replacing Joe Gorman and Jack Lynch reverting to centre-back.
David Hurley and Manu Dimas had efforts from distance as Galway upped their search for an equaliser. However, it was a well organised Treaty side who doubled their lead when Galway failed to clear the ball into the penalty area and a scramble ensued with George reacting quickest to prod the ball home from close range and send the home crowd into raptures.
Caulfield reacted by making a quadruple substitution and they certainly made an impact as we entered the final quarter. One of those substitutions started the fightback when Ronan Manning connected ferociously with a half volley from the edge of the area and the ball flew past Brady into the top corner.
5 minutes later, Galway grabbed their equaliser when David Hurley’s inswinging cross was headed home by Alex Murphy at the back post. At this point, the visitors had all the momentum and looked like the only team likely to snatch all three points. That winning goal duly arrived as Walsh latched onto a floated ball from Boylan and headed home to the delight of the travelling support behind the goal.
It was a very tough defeat to swallow for Barrett and his team who had been well organised in defence for 75 minutes but a combination of effective substitutions and relentless pressure from the title challengers told and it was a huge turnaround. Treaty remain in the play-off places heading into a Munster derby clash with Cork City at Turners Cross on Bank Holiday Monday (5pm).
Treaty United: Jack Brady, Charlie Fleming, Sean Guerins, Joe Gorman, Marc Ludden, Callum McNamara, Jack Lynch, Lee Devitt, Joe Collins (Colin Conroy 70), Matt Keane (Martin Coughlan 86), Dean George (Willie Armshaw 70)
Galway United: Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keefe (Max Hemmings 66), Diego Portilla (Gary Boylan 75), Killian Brouder, Alex Murphy, Conor McCormack, David Hurley, Ed McCarthy (Ronan Manning 66), Wilson Waweru (Jordan Adeyemo 66), Stephen Walsh, Manu Dimas (Francily Lombato 66)