Andrew Dempsey reports from Tallaght Stadium
Conor Barry spared Galway United’s blushes on a wretched afternoon at Tallaght Stadium as the Tribesmen earned a late point against Shamrock Rovers II.
Brandon Kavanagh’s free-kick gave the hosts the lead before Barry struck late to give Alan Murphy’s side their first point of the season amid horrendous conditions in Dublin 24.
After the disappointment of last week’s clash at home to Athlone Town falling victim to Storm Ellen – Galway United made their trip to the capital seeking to start as they mean to go on for 2020.
Shamrock Rovers II on the other hand fell to defeat last week away to Longford Town – but on another night they may have picked up something from the game.
However, Aidan Price’s young Hoops will be pleased with their second half showing against a leading First Division outfit – as the likes of Sinclair Armstrong proved their ability to compete at this level.
The game began in awful conditions – with any sort of attacking play being butchered by the elements in Storm Jorge.
Sean Callan swooped in with a telling slide tackle to deny Dean O’Halloran from giving the Tribesmen the lead in the only real chance of the game inside the first twenty minutes.
From the resulting counter-attack, Hoops forward Thomas Oluwa ought to have given the hosts the lead, but his effort was sniffed away from goal by the Galway defence. .
The wind continued to play havoc on proceedings, and it was Galway who almost benefitted from the conditions again.
Shane Duggan’s corner kick found Carlton Ubaezuonu at the back post – but the former Longford Town winger was unable to score.
Moments later the Hoops should have taken the lead through Oluwa, but after his burrowing run – his shot crashed off the post.
The ball soon found its way back to Adam Wells, and with the goal at his mercy – he skied his effort over the bar as both sides went in level at the break.
In the dying stages of the opening half – Stephen Christopher went close for the visitors, but his effort with the outside of his boot just went over.
The effects of Storm Jorge remained in the second half – and it was Galway, who were playing against the wind, who had the first chance.
Enda Curran got his head on a superb Stephen Christopher ball into the box, but the wind ultimately sucked the life out of the attack for the visitors.
It was the introduction of forward Conor Melody that caused considerable issues for the Hoops defence, and it was his cross that should have produced the opening goal, but Dean O’Halloran was only able to scuff his first touch as Pohls saved.
And just minutes later, Brandon Kavanagh gave the hosts the lead in fortuitous circumstances. His free-kick somehow escaped the grasp of Horgan in the Galway goal – as the Hoops second string took the lead.
However, there will be a hint of controversy about the strike – as there was significant calls from the Galway bench calling for an offside in the build-up to the goal – but referee O’Sullivan made little of the protests.
The hosts goal naturally sprung Galway into life – as captain Shane Duggan went close on a number of occasions – but he could not find the target.
The pressure continued as Leon Pohls was forced into a smart save from Christopher from close range – as the Hoops appeared increasingly likely to take all three points.
And it soon told as Conor Barry tapped home after being fed in by Melody’s pass across the six-yard box, leaving the Tribesmen deservedly level.
There was further drama to come, but Kavanagh’s effort at the death just went over the bar – leaving both sides unable to be separated at the full-time whistle.
Shamrock Rovers II: Leon Pohls ; Alex Dunne , Sean Callan , Peter Adigun , Cole Omorehiomnan , Adam Wells ; Darragh Nugent , Brandon Kavanagh , Sean Brennan ; Thomas Oluwa (Sinclair Armstrong 49) , Dean Williams (Jordan Tallon 77) .
Subs not used: Conan Noonan, Aidomo Emakhu, Kian Clarke, Sinclair Darren Prendergast.
Booked: Jordan Tallon (81),
Sent off: None.
Galway United: Kevin Horgan ; Josh Smith (Kevin Farragher 43) , Jack Lynch , Stephen Christopher , Killian Brouder (Maurice Nugent 45) ; Timmy Molloy , Shane Duggan , Conor Barry ; Dean O'Halloran , Enda Curran (Conor Melody 65) , Carlton Ubaezuonu .
Subs not used: Mícheál Schlingermann, Donal Higgins, Joe Collins, Alberto Cabanyes.
Booked: Kevin Farragher (68),
Sent off: None.
Referee: Kevin O'Sullivan
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Brandon Kavanagh (Shamrock Rovers II).