League Report: Galway United 0 - 0 Sligo Rovers

Galway United and Sligo Rovers played out a 0-0 draw Credit: Hugh de Paor (ETPhotos)

Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United have extended their unbeaten run in the Premier Division to seven games after a 0-0 draw with Sligo Rovers at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.

John Caulfield had to continue watching his side from a distance with the manager serving the final game of his suspension on Friday night. The Tribesmen opted for two changes from their Monday evening win over Bohemians – Aodh Dervin replacing the suspended Karl O’Sullivan and Conor McCormack coming in to replace Maurice Nugent.

For Sligo, coming off the back of a 1-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic, John Ross Wilson returned to the starting lineup in place of Conor Reynolds.

The visitors had early chances after some lethargic defending by Galway, with Stefan Radosavljevic drawing a save from Brendan Clarke at close range. The forward had another guilt-edged chance when Rovers recycled the ball, Ellis Chapman playing a good cross in, but the shot went well wide of the goal.

United settled and even had a chance cleared off the line in the 14th minute when Ed McCarthy found the head of Killian Brouder. The Rovers defender had his positioning just right to fire the ball away from danger.

Patrick Hickey nodded the ball inches wide of the post six minutes later after some great play by the home side – Jeannot Esua finding the imposing midfielder in the box for a flicked header.

Max Mata had the ball in the net on the half-hour mark when he got a boot to the ball in a crowded area from a well-worked corner kick routine, but the offside flag went up almost immediately, much to the striker’s dismay.

At the other end of the field, Hickey had another great chance – catching the entire stadium off guard – when he struck a blistering shot from the edge of the box. Ed McGinty reacted quickly to deny the Tribesmen an opening goal.

A coming together in the air between Hickey and McGinty in the goal mouth allowed the ball to break to Stephen Walsh shortly after the restart, but the striker failed to find the target with the goal at his mercy.

United broke away again on the hour mark when Leo Gaxha flicked the ball forward into the path of fellow substitute Maurice Nugent. It was two on two as the midfielder advanced alongside Walsh – the striker moved expertly to receive the resulting cross, but he failed to keep his shot down and blazed the ball over.

A long throw from Ed McCarthy on the left flank saw another close effort by the home side later in the game, with Maurice Nugent meeting the ball at the front post and flicking it on – his effort just nicked the crossbar and bobbled out of play.

McGinty made a dramatic save three minutes into injury time when Gaxha headed the ball down for Wassim Aouachria – the striker hit it first time, with Rovers’ shot-stopper holding on to the draw by deflecting the ball behind.

Nothing could separate the sides in the end as Galway United travel to face Drogheda United next week while Sligo Rovers host Bohemians on Friday night.

Galway United: Brendan Clarke; Killian Brouder, Jeannot Esua, Al Amin Kazeem (Wassim Aouachria 85), Robert Slevin; Aodh Dervin (Leo Gaxha 56), Patrick Hickey (Maurice Nugent 56), David Hurley, Edward McCarthy (Conor O'Keeffe 77), Conor McCormack; Stephen Walsh (Francely Lomboto 77).
Subs not used: Joe Wright, Garry Buckley, Kyle Fitzgerald.
Booked: Al Amin Kazeem (28).

Sligo Rovers: Edward McGinty; Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson, Charlie Wiggett, John Ross Wilson; Ellis Chapman, Connor Malley, Niall Morahan; Fabrice Hartmann (Rein Smit 73), Max Mata (Wilson Waweru 63), Stefan Radosavljević (Owen Elding 60).
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Kyle McDonagh, Conor Reynolds, Kailin Barlow, Daire Patton, David Jonathan.
Booked: Charlie Wiggett (90).