Treaty United earned a well deserved point at Eamon Deacy Park on Friday night owing to a strong defensive display led by Sean Guerins and Callum McNamara.
Heading into the game, league leaders Galway had beaten the Limerick side on both previous meetings and Treaty were three points clear of Wexford in the final play-off place.
The home side were heavy favourites but that is when Tommy Barrett’s men tend to rise to the challenge.
Treaty made three changes from the team that beat Athlone Town last week with Matt Keane, Enda Curran and Joe Collins replacing Conor Melody, Joe Gorman and Joel Coustrain. Barrett opted to begin with a 4-4-2 with Dean George being partnered by Curran up front.
Galway winger Ronan Manning had the first chance of the game as Treaty’s clearance from a David Hurley corner fell to him and he blazed a shot over the crossbar. Treaty full-back Marc Ludden embarked on a strong run up the left flank and his fizzed cross was just missed by George but Matt Keane rescued it at the back post before Enda Curran misdirected his effort.
Treaty had made a strong start and an eager press from Keane saw the Kerry man snatch possession from Manning which allowed the onrushing Jack Lynch to shoot and force Kearns to palm the ball away from danger. Right on the stroke of half-time, Curran received possession on the left hand side and drove beyond O’Keeffe but he will be disappointed with his final effort which Kearns gathered easily.
At half-time, Treaty made a tactical change with Dean George transferred to the left wing and Steven Christopher joining Joe Collins and Lee Devitt in midfield. The three midfielders were busy and effective in defence even if possession was tough to gain hold of.
Galway emerged from the half-time break with a greater purpose and a superb ball from Manu Dimas sent Manning into the Treaty box and his low strike hit the outside of the post.
John Caulfield’s side should have taken the lead when Hurley’s free-kick was deflected onto the head of Killian Brouder but Winn reacted quickly to block the defender’s header. A good flowing move from the home side involving O’Keefe, Waweru and Manning resulted in the latter shooting straight at Winn.
Caulfield was desperate for the win and that desperation grew stronger when news of Cork’s goal against Cobh circled around Eamon Deacy Park. Galway introduced Francily Lombato and Jordan Adeyemo to join Waweru and Walsh up front. Lombato created a couple of opportunities for himslef but his tame efforts were easily saved by Winn.
For the majority of the final ten minutes, Treaty were quite comfortable and managed to gain entry into the Galway final third on a number of occasions with Ludden and substitute Willie Armshaw having crosses cleared.
However, the home side thought they had snatched victory with the final kick of the game when the ball fell to Alex Murphy in the box and his vicious strike smashed into the side netting. Everybody in the ground thought the ball had hit the back of the net which was not the case to the relief of the sizeable travelling support.
It is a quick turnaround for Treaty as they host new league leaders Cork City at the Markets Field on Monday night. The Limerick side remain one point clear of Wexford in the race for the play-offs following Wexford’s late winner against Longford Town.
Galway United: Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keeffe, Diego Portilla, Killian Brouder, Alex Murphy, Conor McCormack, David Hurley, Manu Dimas (Shane Doherty 82), Ronan Manning (Francily Lombato 77), Wilson Waweru (Jordan Adeyemo 87), Stephen Walsh
Treaty United: Conor Winn, Jack Lynch, Sean Guerins, Callum McNamara, Marc Ludden, Lee Devitt, Joe Collins, Steven Christopher, Matt Keane (Willie Armshaw 82), Dean George (Conor Melody 82), Enda Curran
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