Treaty United suffered their first defeat of the season at the Markets Field in the narrow 0-1 loss to Galway United on Friday night. Substitute Paraic Cunningham’s second half header was enough to give the visitors the victory on a night when Treaty United manager Tommy Barrett was only able to name five players on the substitutes bench.
Both sides were in confident mood coming into the game following Treaty’s three successive victories and Galway’s back to back wins. Newcastlewest native Killian Brouder started at the heart of defence for John Caulfield’s side next to Maurice Nugent as the former Cork boss continued to employ a 4-1-2-3 formation. Former Limerick FC captain Shane Duggan was once again resigned to the bench on his return to the Markets Field.
Treaty United suffered more injury woe in training this week as Joel Coustrain and Dean George pulled up late on Thursday night with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
Added to this, star centre-back Sean Guerins was ruled out with a back injury. As a result, Clyde O’Connell partnered Anthony O’Donnell at centre-back and Ed McCarthy moved to the left-wing with Joe Collins, Jack Lynch and Callum McNamara operating in midfield. Matt McKevitt made his first start in place of Kieran Hanlon.
It was the visitors who came flying out of the blocks and a quick turn and cross from Brouder was flicked off the post by left-back Stephen Walsh. As the half wore on, Treaty were taking control and neat build-up between Lynch, McCarthy and O’Connell allowed the latter to blaze over the bar.
Ten minutes later, Marc Ludden showed huge determination to win the ball from Wilson Waweru in the final third before passing to Lynch who in turn crossed in the direction of McKevitt but the former Peake Villa man was denied by a good challenge from Brouder.
On the half hour mark, the home side had a big shout for a penalty as McKevitt raced to block down a Nugent clearance and appeared to be upended by Walsh on his path. However, referee Kevin O’Sullivan showed little interest in the claims.
Before half-time both sides were forced into changes as Tadgh Ryan was replaced by Shane Cusack with a groin injury and Wilson Waweru was replaced by Paraic Cunningham. Following the re-start, Galway took the lead as Gary Boylan was allowed too much time to cross the ball and Paraic Cunningham powered a header into the far corner of the net to give Caulfield’s side a precious lead.
It was an exceptionally scrappy second period with both sides creating very little. Two headed chances for McKevitt and O’Connell failed to trouble Kearns as Barrett’s charges searched for the equaliser. Despite the introduction of Kieran Hanlon and a change to a 4-4-2 formation, the home side failed to trouble the visitors who were also showing little to no ambition in an attacking sense but professionally saw out the victory and a clean sheet.
The result moves Galway level with Treaty and only separated by goal difference and the news that Ryan and William Armshaw are added to the casualty list will not be well received by the management team. Next week is a big Munster derby clash with struggling Cork City at Turners Cross.
Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan (Shane Cusack 34), Charlie Fleming, Anthony O’Donnell, Clyde O’Connell, Marc Ludden, Callum McNamara, Jack Lynch, Joe Collins (Kieran Hanlon 69), Matt Keane, Ed McCarthy (William Armshaw 69) (Alan Murphy 85), Matt McKevitt
Galway United: Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keefe, Maurice Nugent, Killian Brouder, Stephen Walsh, Conor McCormack, David Hurley (Mikie Rowe 72), Gary Boylan, Mikey Place (Shane Doherty 72), Ruairi Keating (Chris Horgan 90), Wilson Waweru (Paraic Cunningham 36).