Unlucky 13 for Cork as Galway hold out for a draw

John Caulfield’s side see their winning streak come to an end at Eamonn Deacy Park

Cork’s Sean Maguire and Galway’s Stephen Folan battle for the ball. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cork’s Sean Maguire and Galway’s Stephen Folan battle for the ball. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Galway United 1 Cork City 1

Stephen Folan scored the crucial goal as Galway United became the first team to take points off SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Cork City in a thrilling encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park.

John Caulfield’s side have been rampant in 2017 and with 12 wins in their first 12 league games they already look to be running away with the title.

They hammered Finn Harps 5-0 last weekend to move 14 points clear, but they came unstuck against the relegation-threatened Tribesmen.

Conor McCormack put Cork ahead just before the hour, but just two minutes later centre-half Folan tied the game up and Cork couldn’t find a winner after that.

Galway were the better team in the first-half and although Cork seemed to have more quality in the final third, it was the hosts who had more territory and possession. It was 0-0 at half-time, but Kevin Devaney had a couple of early chances to give Galway the lead.

Galway moved off the bottom of the league on Monday for the first time since March 18th when they drew with Derry City – United’s first clean sheet in the league this season.

The hosts had only registered one victory in the league this year and were coming up against a Cork side who conceded once in eight games.

But Galway United top-scorer Ronan Murray also had a few shots on goal, while Cork’s best opportunity came in the 10th minute when Kevin O’Connor hit a free-kick towards the top left corner but Conor Winn saved brilliantly.

Padraic Cunningham should have put Galway ahead in the 26th minute when he connected with a Marc Ludden cross, but his header landed outside Mark McNulty’s left post.

McCormack’s work-rate ensured Galway couldn’t find a route through, and he got in the way of Murray’s goal-bound effort six minutes before the break.

Steven Beattie was on target for Cork before half-time, but Winn was equal to it.

Cork took a stranglehold of the game after the interval but Folan and Lee Grace were always in the way, until McCormack forced a mistake from Folan on the 59th minute. McCormack shot from outside the area and it hit off Folan which wrong-footed Winn to nestle in the bottom left corner of the Galway net.

Galway could have dropped their heads but were unbeaten in seven games and within two minutes they were level. It was Folan who looped a header over McNulty to tie the game up in the 61st minute.

Galway held tight after that only for Gary Shanahan nearly to score a dramatic own-goal in the 74th minute, his header collided off the top of the Galway cross-bar after a Karl Sheppard cross.

Jimmy Keohane had a great chance to give Cork the lead late on but he blasted over, and Galway held on.

GALWAY UNITED: Winn; Shanahan, Grace, Folan, Horgan; Murray, Holohan, Byrne, Devaney (Devers, 93), Ludden; Cunningham.

CORK CITY: McNulty; Beattie (Bennett, 67), Dunleavy, Delaney, O’Connor; Morrissey (Keohane, 43), McCormack; Sheppard, Buckley, Dooley; Maguire.

Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).

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