Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Galway United fell ten points behind Shelbourne in the race for automatic promotion when they played out a scoreless draw with a ten-man Treaty United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
Neither side could find the net throughout the game despite both side having chances, the home side had a numerical advantage too from last 20 minutes when Marc Ludden was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The evening began on a sombre note with a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Limerick FC and Galway United player Sam Oji who died last month after a short illness at the age of 35.
Luke Dennison made his first start for the Tribesmen with Conor Kearns serving a suspension after his sending off during the 1-0 win over Cabinteely last weekend.
The goalkeeper came off the bench last Friday and saved a penalty for John Caulfield’s side, helping them to a crucial three points at Stradbrook.
Tommy Barrett made just one change from the side that defeated Cobh Ramblers 3-0 last week with Kieran Hanlon starting the game in place of Edward McCarthy who dropped to the bench.
Both sides tentatively went at each other early in the game and exchanged a couple of half chances each with Kieran Hanlon and Clyde O’Donnell firing over the bar for Treaty and Ruairí Keating shooting two efforts just wide of the goal for Galway in the opening quarter of an hour.
The home side went close in the 19th minute from a David Hurley corner-kick. Tadhg Ryan punched the ball away initially, but it was headed back towards the goal mouth before it was cleared off the line by a Treaty defender.
Some great link up play on the left wing between Clyde O’Connell and Charlie Fleming set up Anthony O’Donnell right in front of goal in the 25th minute but the midfielder’s header wasn’t on target after a great cross.
Treaty had another chance four minutes later when former Tribesman Marc Ludden spotted Sean McSweeney in front of goal with a through ball floated into the box, but the resulting header went straight into the hands of Luke Dennison.
Galway had their best chance of the first half in the 32nd minute when Hurley played a neat pass inside the box to Mikie Rowe who rattled off a blistering shot on goal only for Ryan to leap into action with a reaction save to punch the ball behind for a corner.
They went very close again two minutes from the break when a corner-kick made its way as far as Gary Boylan.
The midfielder lined up the shot from the edge of the centre circle and Ryan let the ball slip from his grasp in the goal mouth, but he managed to recover quickly enough to prevent Wilson Waweru from nudging the ball over the line.
Kieran Hanlon almost had the visitors in the lead on the hour mark when his head glanced a Ludden corner-kick deep inside the box but there was no strength on the header and the ball bounced harmlessly in front of the goalkeeper.
Ryan was back in action in the 68th minute in another key moment for Tommy Barrett’s side when Keating ferociously whipped the ball across the box to Waweru who volleyed it at goal only for the shot stopper to deny the young striker with a great save.
With ten minutes to go, Ryan made another important intervention. This time Stephen Walsh whipped the ball in from the left but the goalkeeper denied the midfielder for a second time on the night to keep the side level and ultimately earn Treaty a point.
Galway United: Luke Denison; Stephen Walsh, Conor O'Keeffe, Joe Gorman, Killian Brouder, Gary Boylan; Mikie Rowe (Mikey Place 90), Conor McCormack, David Hurley (Shane Doherty 78); Ruairi Keating, Wilson Waweru (Padraic Cunningham 78).
Subs not used: Colin Kelly, Caoilfhionn O'Dea, Maurice Nugent, Alex Murphy, Dean O'Shea.
Booked: Conor McCormack (63), Shane Doherty (78).
Sent off: None.
Treaty United: Tadhg Ryan; Charlie Fleming, Marc Ludden, Jack Lynch, Clyde O'Connell, Anthony O'Donnell; Stephen Christopher (Conor Melody 74), Matt Keane, Sean McSweeney, Mark Walsh; Kieran Hanlon (Callum McNamara 74).
Subs not used: Sean McCormack, Alan Murphy, Joe Collins, Joel Coustrain, Edward McCarthy, William Armshaw, Bryan Murphy.
Booked: Marc Ludden (46) Marc Ludden (71).
Sent off: Marc Ludden (71).
Referee: .Kevin O’Sullivan
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate)
extratime.com Player of the Match: Tadhg Ryan (Treaty United)