Date Time League Season
23 July 2021 8:00 pm FAI Cup 2021

Match Report

Rovers deliver opening strike in FAI Cup

Shamrock Rovers made the optimum start to their 2021 FAI Cup campaign, after a 2-0 win over Galway United at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

Goals by Rory Gaffney and Dylan Watts in the first half, were enough to give the side the victory, as they will progress into the next round of the competition.

In truth it was a game that Rovers never looked like losing, both goals coming  less than a half hour into the tie, leaving it very one sided in favour of the home side. Galway failed to make any headway, despite having a much better second half, but failed to beat Alan Mannus. 

The Dubliners were the favourites going into this cup tie, but it was Alan Mannus who was the busiest of the goalkeepers, in the first quarter of the game, having to save a header aimed toward his goal. 

The Hoops played with great tempo passing the ball around and got their reward in the 17th minute. A lovely well worked move on the right,, saw Richie Towell play a cross into the Galway box, it looked like the keeper was about to catch it, but Gaffney stuck a leg out to fire his side into the lead. 

The hosts doubled their lead shortly after, yet again another cross into the Galway box from the right, this time it was Sean Gannon who played the cross in, with Dylan Watts on hand to fire a shot into the left hand bottom corner.

As the second half started it looked like it would be a tough 45 minutes for the visiting side, but Ruairi Keating now moved as a lone striker, was wreaking havoc when he got a chance at the Rovers defence. 

The Tribes man hitting the post in the 70th minute, before forcing the best out of Alan Mannus in the 78th minute, as the keeper made a phenomenal stop. 

Galways only other chance of the tie fell to Caoilfhionn O’Dea, who hit a shot from outside the box, but Mannus denied him well with a fine fingertip save, showing his experience in between the sticks. 

  • 81'

    Colin Kelly replaces Mikey Place

  • 79'

    Max Murphy replaces Sean Kavanagh for Rovers

  • 78'

    Another fantastic chance for Ruairi Keating who firs a shot at goal but Alan Mannus makes a phenomenal save

  • 73'

    Padraic Cunningham replaces Mikie Rowe

  • 72'

    Debut for young Conan Noonan he replaces Richie Towell

  • 72'

    Aaron Greene replaces Rory Gaffney

  • 70'

    Another big chance for Galway, Keating manages to cut inside but his shot hits the post

  • 62'

    Liam Scales come in after the hour mark replacing Joey O'Brien

  • 55'

    Great chance for Galway to try and find the net, O'Dea hits a shot from outside the box but Mannus denies him well with a fine finger tip save to put the ball out for a corner

  • 49'

    Fantastic chance for Rovers to make it 3-0, Gannon plays in another fantastic cross and Richie Towell meets it well but his strike grazes the post and goes wide

  • 45'

    Thomas Oluwa comes on at half time for Wilson Waweru

  • 45'

    Half time in Tallaght, the home side have been completely dominant, as the tie is now one sided in the favour of Rovers, could be a long second half for Galway

  • 32'

    Early change for Galway as Alex Murphy goes off for Caoilfhionn O’Dea

  • 25'

    Gannon receives a yellow card after a rash challenge

  • 21'

    Gannon plays a lovely cross in from the right and Watts meets the ball perfectly and fires into the bottom left hand corner

  • 21'

    Dylan Watts doubles his sides lead

  • 17'

    A beautiful cross by Towell is met by Gaffney who finishes from close range

  • 17'

    And just like that Rovers lead

  • 14'

    First chance of the night falls to Galway, a cross from a free kick is headed toward goal but Mannus saves easily

  • 3'

    Alex Murphy fouls Graham Burke and goes into the book

  • Minutes away from kick off here in Tallaght

  • We await team news from Galway, Shamrock Rovers have named a strong side for tonights tie, no major rests from their previous ties in the league and Europe

  • Its the Premier Division Champions and current league leaders taking on 2nd place in the First Division tonight, Rovers have won this competition 25 times now, Galway on the other hand have tasted success just once, winning in 1991, they however finished runners up in 1985, losing 1-0 to tonights opponents

  • You are very welcome to Tallaght Stadium for tonights first round FAI Cup action, as Shamrock Rovers take on Galway United, my name is Diarmuid Kearney and I will keep you updated of events in Dublin this evening

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
2Sean Gannon Defender 25'
4Roberto Lopes Defender
5Lee Grace Defender
7Dylan Watts Midfielder 21'
10Graham Burke Forward
11Sean Kavanagh 24 Defender
16Gary O’Neill Midfielder
17Richie Towell 34 Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney 9 Forward 17'
28Joey O’Brien 15 Defender
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
8Ronan Finn Midfielder
9Aaron Greene 20 Forward
15Liam Scales 28 Defender
24Max Murphy 11 Midfielder
27Dean McMenamy Midfielder
29Dylan Duffy Midfielder
34Conan Noonan 17 Midfielder

Galway Utd

16Conor Kearns Goalkeeper
3Stephen Walsh Defender
4Gary Boylan Defender
6Maurice Nugent Defender
7Ruairi Keating Forward
14Mikie Rowe 9 Midfielder
18Wilson Waweru 27 Forward
20Mikey Place 24 Midfielder
21Christopher Horgan Defender
25Alex Murphy 17 Defender 3'
32Joe Gorman Defender
9Padraic Cunningham 14 Forward
17Caoilfhionn O’Dea 25 Midfielder
18Luke Dennison Goalkeeper
24Colin Kelly 20 Forward
27Thomas Oluwa 18 Forward
Charlie Concannon
Ethan Connolly

Past Meetings

(Series 11)
2 - 1
LOI Men's First Division
Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United v Shamrock Rovers

(Series 2)
1 - 1
LOI Men's First Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Galway United


Tallaght Stadium
Tallaght Stadium, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 XC9W

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.