Title hopefuls Shelbourne next up for Galway women

Galway United Women fell short on Saturday when they fell 2-1 to an unbeaten Shamrock Rovers side in Tallaght Stadium.

It was United’s second loss in succession, having travelled to the top two teams in the division in the last week. Although Phil Trill’s players acquitted themselves admirably, they will be disappointed not to have taken any points west.

United were forced to defend for large chunks of the first half, but did so competently, restricting Rovers to a few chances. The opening goal therefore came at a bad time, right on the stroke of half-time.

As they have done throughout the season, United played the ball out bravely from the back, but were dispossessed in the final third. Rovers pounced and fed Áine O’Gorman, who slotted in the go-ahead goal.

The build up to the second, which occurred less than two minutes after the turnaround, was equally as frustrating for Galway. They had committed bodies forward for a set-piece, but Rovers snuffed it out and went on the counter-attack.

Lia O’Leary showed great pace on the left before linking up with former Galway WFC player Savannah McCarthy. She centred her cross and United missed the chance to deal with the danger. The ball broke in the box to Irish international Abbie Larkin who bundled it home.

Credit United, they set up a grandstand finish when they pulled one back just as the game reached the final quarter. After winning the ball well in midfield, Lynsey McKey provided a beautiful pass into the path of Gemma McGuinness, and the United sharpshooter steered it in off the inside of the post, giving goalkeeper Amanda Budden no chance.

Try as they might, United could not find an equaliser, and the loss pushes them back to fifth after flirting with the top just a week ago. They will take plenty of positives from their trips to the capital as they face another huge test against third-placed Shelbourne in Eamonn Deacy Park at 2pm this Saturday.

They will be hoping to repeat their earlier result in Tolka Park when United downed their illustrious opponents 2-1 in what was a shock at the time.

Shels had been enjoying a winning run before last Saturday, accounting for Athlone, DLR Waves and Sligo Rovers, but a loss at home to rivals Peamount United has lessened their margin for error should they wish to retain their title.

From a home perspective, the focus as always will be on process and performance. However, a positive result would do wonders to preserve the good feeling around the team. Only one game, away to Sligo Rovers, will remain after this before the lengthy World Cup break. United will be eager to go into this break in the best possible position.


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