Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Galway Untied extended their unbeaten run in the First Division to five games with a 2-1 win over Wexford at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
Stephen Walsh and David Hurley scored for the home side in the first-half with Wexford’s Jack Moylan scoring before the half-time break.
United were reduced to ten men early in the second half after Maurice Nugent’s dismissal but Wexford couldn’t claw another goal back as they continue their poor run of games against Galway having not beaten them since 2016.
John Caulfield made just one change to his side from their 1-0 win over Cobh Ramblers two weeks ago with Shane Doherty coming into the starting line-up for the suspended Mikie Rowe.
Lorcan Fitzgerald was the only change to Ian Ryan’s side after he was sent off during Wexford’s 4-0 loss to Cork City, Daniel Dobbin got the nod on Friday night.
Galway United started near perfectly by nudging themselves in front with a goal just seven minutes into the game from a Conor McCormack corner-kick.
The Tribesmen’s captain sent the ball to the far side of the goal where Stephen Walsh was able to rise highest in the crowded box to send the ball back across goal and nestle it in the bottom corner with his head.
Shane Doherty followed that up two minutes later when he picked the ball up from a misplaced Wexford pass, Jimmy Corcoran was alert to the danger and closed the attacker down quickly forcing the rushed shot and deflecting the ball behind.
The visitors were nearly being asked to be punished on occasion with Corcoran giving the ball away again in the 25th minute to Shane Doherty.
The midfielder took the ball to the end line before firing a cross into Wilson Waweru who failed to get a good connection on his shot allowing Corcoran to make an easy save.
Jack Doherty and Jack Moylan had penetrated the Galway defence dangerously a couple of times in the first-half to no avail, but they finally managed to create a gilt-edged chance in the 28th minute when Conor Crowley played unlocked Kyle Robinson with an excellent long ball.
Robinson was bearing down on Conor Kearns goal deep inside the box only for Maurice Nugent to time his challenge to perfection and dispossessed the attacker.
Ian Ryan’s side went close twice more in quick succession with Jack Doherty and Moylan both drawing saves from Kearns with good chances from inside the box.
United doubled their lead in the 38th minute with Walsh turning provider this time around with a perfect through ball to an unmarked David Hurley in front of the Wexford goal who placed the ball past Corcoran for his second goal of the season.
That two goal cushion wouldn’t last long however with Wexford netting a goal of their own with 40 minutes gone. Daniel Dobbin swung the ball in from the left wing, finding Moylan who was able to fire home from close range to give his side a foothold in the game before half-time.
Referee Eoghan O’Shea gave Nugent his marching orders in the 52nd minute after the defender committed a clumsy challenge on a Wexford player, having picked up his first yellow for a professional foul in the 26th minute, leaving the home side a man down for a large part of the second half.
Wexford immediately took hold of much of the possession and five minutes later Robinson forced a diving save out of Kearns when he looped a header towards the bottom corner.
Galway managed to recover once centre-back Joe Gorman came into the game in place of David Hurley with the home side getting forward and Waweru firing just wide in the 58th minute before Walsh headed the ball just inches wide from a McCormack free-kick five minutes later.
Another misplaced pass in the 76th minute allowed Keating a one-on-one situation with Corcoran the striker strolled forward and fired off his shot, but he struck a poor effort well wide of goal without even forcing a save from the goalkeeper.
Jack Doherty was inches away from an equaliser at the other end just a moment later after more good link up play in the box with his teammates, he took the ball back from Robinson in the box but his effort blazed just over the bar.
Galway Untied should have put themselves out of sight when another wayward Wexford ball was won by substitute Carlton Ubaezuonu in front of goal, but the midfielder failed to make his chance count in injury time.
It ultimately wouldn’t matter as Eoghan O’Shea blew his whistle minutes later as ten man Galway scraped the three points.
Galway United: Conor Kearns; Gary Boylan (Caoilfhionn O'Dea 77), Killian Brouder, Conor O'Keeffe, Stephen Walsh (Alex Murphy 77); Shane Doherty (Carlton Ubaezuonu 81), David Hurley (Joe Gorman 56), Conor McCormack, Maurice Nugent; Ruairi Keating, Wilson Waweru (Mikey Place 81).
Subs not used: Colin Kelly, Caoilfhionn O’Dea, Luke Denison, Dean O'Shea.
Booked: Maurice Nugent (26), Maurice Nugent (52), Gary Boylan (66), Stephen Walsh (73), Ruairi Keating (90).
Sent off: Maurice Nugent (52).
Wexford: Jimmy Corcoran; Daniel Dobbin, Paul Cleary, Kevin McEvoy (Ayman Yousif 88); Jack Doherty, Conor Crowley, Karl Fitzsimons (Evan Farrell 65), Harry Groome, Jack Moylan; Karl Manahan (c), Kyle Robinson.
Subs not used: Sean Martin, Donal Porter, Nicky Leonard, Andrew Farrell, Luke Scanlon.
Booked: Jack Doherty (18) ,Kevin McEvoy (67) Karl Manahan (90).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.
Attendance: 1,427 (official)
extratime.com Player of the Match: Conor McCormack (Galway United)