Ollie Horgan: 'Walsh shouldn’t have done what he did, he shouldn’t have said what he said'

John Caulfield & Ollie Horgan

John Caulfield & Ollie Horgan Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United hosted their first Premier Division fixture since 2017 when FAI Cup champions St Patrick’s Athletic made the trip west on Friday night.

There was to be no fairytale beginning to the Tribesmen’s campaign as the Saints emerged victorious after an early Jamie Lennon goal sealed the points for Jon Daly’s side.

United’s assistant manager Ollie Horgan spoke to the media after the game and despite the loss, the former Finn Harps boss was pleased with the honesty and endeavour shown by his side – two words we may well hear a lot in relation to Galway throughout the season.

“Look there was very little in it, it was decided on a set piece and to be fair to Pat’s they had to change their shape here tonight. They played five at the back and they scored early, and they had that to defend,” Horgan explained after the game.

“I don't think either goalkeeper really had a save to make for all the endeavour, we worked our backside off.

“Certainly, for honesty and endeavour we weren't found wanting. Disappointed with our set pieces, we had a lot of them, they had I think three corners in the whole game, and they scored from one to their credit.

“We didn't defend it properly and you know, to be fair to them, I mean what do you do with the goal, I mean, he hit it in the top corner, and you couldn't blame anyone for it.

“I thought in the first half after that we were quite good. We pushed them high up the pitch. We couldn't get in behind them with the shape that they played.

“But to be fair to them, the three centre halves for Pats defended, well, I thought we had a lot of endeavour, a lot of honesty, but probably lacked that little bit of quality higher up the pitch.

Although the Tribesmen struggled to break St Patrick’s Athletic down in the final third, they did manage to get up the field regularly and win set pieces which gave them a foothold in the game.

However, the contest was effectively over when Stephen Walsh received a straight red card from referee Eoghan O’Shea for dissent in the 78th minute after his side had a penalty shout when Tom Costello was brought down in the box.

“There’s no point in me mincing my words, yeah, I felt Connor Keeley did push him.

“But, you know, there was no need for the verbals. I spoke to Eoghan O’Shea afterwards, and I’m not saying that that we were very good, but neither was he and you may as well call a spade a spade but that's not the reason we lost.

“Walsh shouldn’t have done what he did, he shouldn’t have said what he said, regardless of whether it was a penalty or not because that's the nature of it. So he knows himself he's let us down.”

With Wassim Aouachria absent through injury and Walsh set to miss multiple games due to suspension, Galway’s attacking options are even lighter than they were coming into the season.

They travel to face Dundalk next Friday night and Horgan will be seeking more than just a good effort from his squad at Oriel Park.

“You know, moral victories are no bloody good. I mean, there’s no one that knows better than I or John for that matter.

“We prefer to get a point or three points and not play as well.

“But you can't fault the effort and endeavour and they're hurting in there and there's going to be days over the 36 games that we're going to be hurting as well because there's obviously no easy game home or away.”