United women return to winning ways

Galway United Women signed off the first half of their season in style, completing the double over Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds on Saturday with a 2-0 victory.

United turned in a dominant display and could have won by more, but they should ultimately be satisfied with a return to winning ways.

A consistent performer at the back all season, Therese Kinnevey gave her side a crucial lead in the 12th minute with a well-taken goal. Once again, a Lynsey McKey out-swinging corner carved the breakthrough.

The ball bounced around dangerously until it fell to Kate Thompson, and she he did well to control and lay it off for the fullback, whose drilled shot deflected off a defender and into the net.

United came close to a marvellous second on the half-hour mark in a move that epitomised everything good about the side. McKey won the ball back and Jenna Slattery cleverly released Rola Olusola, who sped to the by-line and put a dangerous ball across the face of the goal. On this occasion Siobhán Doolan just could not convert.

Olusola, who had come on for the injured Gemma McGuinness, was involved in much of the visitor’s positive play. After 55 minutes, she linked up with Doolan, who chipped a gorgeous pass through to an onrushing McKey. Her cheeky lob almost made it over Sligo stopper Bonnie McKiernan.

There was a short spell of Sligo pressure thereafter, but Jessica Berlin in the Galway goal was unfazed by a couple of tame efforts from the right.

Soon after, United had the two-goal cushion they craved. Jamie Erickson delivered a long diagonal pass that Slattery battled for before her strength and guile created the opening before finishing with an unstoppable effort that hit the top corner. It was the underage international’s fifth of the season from midfield and her reputation continues to grow with every passing game.

United held out for the rest of the game without much fuss. The result left their Connacht rivals still searching for their first home points, but it was a welcome win for United after three losses on the spin. It means United women sit fifth after 13 games, notably ahead of the heavily fancied Wexford Youths and Athlone Town.

With Ireland soon to be gripped by World Cup fever, the attention of Phil Trill’s squad will be on the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup which starts with a novel trip north to face Linfield in Midgley Park this Saturday.

 

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