Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
John Caulfield’s first game in charge of Galway United was full of goals as the Tribesmen were knocked out of the FAI Cup by Shelbourne by a 5-2 scoreline.
Galway twice came from behind twice, through Enda Curran and Mikey Place, after Shels had led first through a Dayle Rooney free-kick and then from the boot of Ciaran Kilduff.
The Reds pushed on in the final 15 minutes as goals from Ryan Brennan and Aaron Dobbs, either side of a second from Rooney, saw the away side ease into the quarter-finals of the competition.
The home side started brightly, however, and had a great opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute when Enda Curran was taken down as he tried to round goalkeeper Colin McCabe.
Curran was visibly upset at not being given the opportunity to take the penalty kick that he won with Mikey Place stepping up to take it on.
The former Finn Harps and Sligo Rovers forward will have nightmares for weeks as he sent the ball into orbit from the spot.
There was some controversy for the Shelbourne goal after referee Damien MacGraith blew his whistle late after a Killian Brouder challenge on Denzil Fernandez just outside the box.
Caulfield was incensed but Shels were jubilant as Rooney curled the ball low around the wall and just about sneaking past Matthew Connor’s fingertips and into the Galway goal.
Galway came out of for the second half in positive fashion with an early chance created by a driving run from Place.
The forward took the ball deep into Shels territory before passing off to Doherty on the left but the midfielder’s shot was booted straight at McCabe.
Playing their best football of the season, the home side deservedly drew level in the 52nd minute. A corner from substitute Conor Barry was cleared by the head of Gary Deegan to Doherty.
The midfielder struck a shot that deflected off a defender and fell to Enda Curran, who pulled the trigger to score for Galway.
Shelbourne were spurred into action after they conceded and they came close to taking the lead just after the hour mark with two chances on target, but they had to wait another ten minutes for another goal.
Shelbourne took the lead again in the 71st minute when Place coughed up possession to Brennan, who took the ball forward and set up Kilduff to struck the ball past Connor into the back of the net.
Galway struck back just minute later. After a scramble in the box with a deflected shot from Doherty the ball fell to Place, who squirreled the ball into the bottom left corner to draw level once again.
In a breathless ten minutes Shelbourne hit the front for the third, and final, time with 11 minutes remaining on the clock.
A wayward header from defender Timo Parthoens fell to Kilduff, whose shot struck the crossbar. The danger wasn’t over for Galway, however, and Brennan was there to tap the ball over the line.
Rooney put the game out of reach with a great individual effort after winning the ball from Chris Horgan in the middle of the park.
The midfielder did well to work himself into position just outside the box and his shot in the 84th minute just evaded the hands of Connor to put the visitors ahead by two.
Substitute Dobbs added to the late misery with his first touches as another defensive error allowed the striker in on the left side of the box and he stroked the ball into the back of the net at a fiercely acute angle.
Galway United: Matthew Connor; Christopher Horgan, Kevin Farragher, Killian Brouder, Timo Parthoens (Marc Ludden 83); Donal Higgins (Conor Barry 46), Maurice Nugent; Shane Doherty, Enda Curran (Vinny Faherty 67), Mikey Place (Carlton Ubaezuonu 75).
Subs not used: Vinny Faherty, Stephen Christopher, Conor Barry, Kevin Horgan, Marc Ludden, Jack Lynch, Carlton Ubaezuonu.
Booked: Enda Curran (14), Maurice Nugent (35).
Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; Daniel Byrne, Alex O'Hanlon, Daniel O'Reilly; Denzil Fernandes (Karl Moore 90), Gary Deegan, Mark Byrne (Sean Quinn 55), Ryan Brennan (Jaze Kabia 85), George Poynton (Aidan Friel 85), Dayle Rooney; Ciarán Kilduff (Aaron Dobbs 90).
Subs not used: Jaze Kabia, Aidan Friel, Aaron Dobbs, Oscar Brennan, Jack Brady, Karl Moore, Sean Quinn.
Booked: Colin McCabe (18) ,Daniel Byrne (76) ,George Poynton (80)
Referee: Damien MacGraith
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Dayle Rooney (Shelbourne)None
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