Mayo’s under 21 soccer side got the weekend off to a good start when they outplayed, outthought and basically overwhelmed a strong Galway United side at Celtic park in the first round of the U-21 cup. The fact they were at home might have stood to them but it was clear that they were on form and much the better side overall.
The action started as early as the 3rd minute when Stephen Barrett was taken down in the penalty area. Eugene Gorman slotted the penalty home and Mayo were on their way. It stayed at 1-0 for a while, chances were few and far between for the visitors but two chances from Fergal Forde went close. Close to the half hour, it was 2-0. A long ball from keeper Padraic Crean was nodded on by James Scott to Barrett who beat everyone and scored. It was now starting to look comfortable. Scott even tried a “hand of god moment” from a free kick but all he got for his troubles was a yellow card. With time almost up Alan McDonald made it three. Galway keeper Eoin Martyn was put under pressure by James Scott and McDonald latched on to the rebound leaving Mayo very happy at the break.
Mayo made one change at the break, bringing on Dessie O’Malley and he made an impression with his very first touch. O’Gorman sent the pass through and He finished with style to put the game out of reach with most of the half to go. Galway United tried as much as they could to get a goal back. And were unfortunate that they didn’t when after 26 minutes of the second half Barry Mulligan’s shot beat the keeper only to rebound off the post, crawl across the goalmouth and away. Mayo were on fire and further goals from McDonald and Gorman again left Fergie McEllin and his backroom staff very happy at full time.
From a team point of view it was an excellent result. Everyone of the team had a job to do and did it well. The work of the midfield coming in for special mention. The ground in Celtic park was in excellent condition and was certainly a factor in the style of football played. It is clear that Mayo enjoy playing here.
This is the highest score that Mayo have put up since they joined the league. They now advance to the next round of the cup for the first time and keep their unbeaten record this season after their defeat of Derry City and their Draw with Sligo Rovers.
Mayo under 21- Padraic Crean, James O’Malley, Tom O’Connor, Fergal Forde, Sean Reilly, Declan Reilly, Stephen Barrett, Cormac Jennings, Alan McDonald, James Scott, Eugene Gorman.Subs: Noel Cusack, Stevie Ryan, Kevin Joyce, Dessie O’Malley, Eamon Crean.