United women deliver draw against star-studded Shamrocks

Galway United goal scorer Gemma McGuinness and Shamrock Rovers' Aoife Kelly in action from the SSE Airtricity Women's League game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United goal scorer Gemma McGuinness and Shamrock Rovers' Aoife Kelly in action from the SSE Airtricity Women's League game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

After some stunning performances and results away from home, Phil Trill's Galway United Women's FC secured its first points at home on Saturday in a 1-1 draw with a superb Shamrock Rovers side.

Boasting three players who had been with Vera Pauw's Ireland squad in USA the same week, Rovers entered the game as favourites, but United produced a fine first-half performance.

Gemma McGuinness pounced on a Lynsey McKey corner to give her side an ideal start. She combined with Jenna Slattery, Isabella Beletic and Lynsey McKey to take charge of a keenly contested midfield battle to keep their side on the front foot.

Up front Rola Olusola and Abbie Callana ran the channels dilligently and held the ball well, while at the back Jamie Erickson made telling interceptions when needed. Eve Dossen showed strength and maturity beyond her years, and full-backs Aoibheann Costello and Therese Kinnevey were exceptional against international opponents.

Yet perhaps it was keeper Jessica Berlin who made the most telling contributions with two superb saves each side of half-time to thwart Jaime Thompson. She commanded her area well from set-pieces and her heroics looked like they might help to deliver another famous victory.

However, Rovers pressure in the second eventually told. In the 82nd minute Áine O'Gorman stole clear on the right and her cross eventually reached Thompson who trapped the ball and finished expertly from the edge of the area for a draw their efforts probably merited.

That United would be disappointed to only take a point from a star-studded Rovers team is a reflection of the stunning progress that has been made in a short space of time. Viewed through this lens, this Saturday's Connacht Derby against Sligo Rovers in Eamonn Deacy Park presents a real opportunity for a first home win and continued climb up the table.

Sligo are pointless after five games, but United manager Phil Trill does not appear to see this as a true reflection of his opponent's ability and has predicted they will climb up from that position.

From a United perspective the hope will be that this turnaround can be delayed by one more weekend. Unbeaten against three of the best teams in the league, United will look to record their first home win and continue to move up the table in an exciting first season.

 

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