By Declan Harte
Galway United 2 Athlone Town 0
Alberto Cabanyes stole the show for Galway United, as they beat Athlone Town 2-0 at Eamonn Deacy Park. This result means that Galway have qualified for the second round of the EA Sports Cup. Cabanyes’ goal and assist were crucial for Galway, who were comfortable throughout the match.
While Galway controlled possession for a large portion of the game, they struggled to create many chances. Galway had only one shot on target in the first half, which Aaron Myles saved comfortably. This meant the score was 0-0 at half time.
The deadlock was finally broken at the start of the second half. It took only five minutes for a lovely low cross from Marc Ludden to find Cabanyes in the six yard box, who was able to tap it in for the game’s opening goal.
Cabanyes turned provider on the 66th minute. His cross from the right found Wilson Waweru, who similarly tapped the ball home from within the six yard box.
Galway manager Alan Murphy remained realistic after the game. He was pleased to get off to winning ways at Terryland for this season, and was also glad to give some fresh faces some game time in front of the home crowd.
“It was a real league cup game really. It was open at times, the quality was kind of up and down at times. Then you had towards the end guys that are looking for their sharpness and looking for fitness and a lot of bodies going down late,” said Murphy in a post-match interview.
“I think it did exactly what it needed for us, we needed a win and we needed to give players opportunities and give players an opportunity to put their hands up and stake a claim, I think that was done.”
Up next for Galway United is another home game. This Friday they face Cabinteely, their first home game of the new league season, but Murphy remains cautious of Cabinteely’s good form.
“[It’s a] huge test, they’re flying. They’re top of the league for a reason because they’re good at what they do. It’ll be a real test for us, see where we are and where we need to go to. We’ll give them a lot of respect, but it’ll be about us and it’ll be what we can do. It will be nice to be back home here again and, after a win tonight, hopefully back it up with a good performance and a result.”
Goalscorers: Cabanyes 50, Waweru 66
Galway United: M Schlingermann; M Nugent, K Farragher, C Murphy, M Ludden 52; A Cabanyes, T Molloy, D Sacramento, S Duggan, D Higgins 61; W Waweru 69.
Substitutes: C Mulryan, J O’Connor 61, C Horgan, T Parthoens 52, C Ubaezuonu, V Faherty 69.
Athlone Town: A Myles; D Brooks, J Morgan, E O’Connor, T Tlou; J Carr, E White, I Kimazo, J Carroll 61, J Quinlivan 52; D George 69.
Substitutes: D Lawless, H Cornally 61, M Mansaray 69, A Lennon 52, J Carmody