By Ivan Hurley
On a tough night for the league newcomers, table toppers Galway United inflicted a record 9-1 defeat on Kerry FC on Matchday 4 of the SSE Airtricity First Division campaign.
A first-half hat trick from United’s Ed McCarthy put the hosts on course for a record victory in the division, becoming the first side to score 9 goals in a First Division match. The Tribesmen led by 5 goals to nil at the short whistle. A Rob Slevin header and a tap-in by Lomboto added to McCarthy’s impressive hattrick in a game that Kerry FC didn’t get a chance to breathe in.
Billy Dennehy made 3 changes at the break, bringing in Kelliher and league debuts for Jonathan Hannafin and new signing Cian Barrett who both got vital first-team minutes for Kerry. Keita made an instant impact from the bench by scoring Galway’s 6th just 2 minutes after being introduced. Kerry’s best spell came in the next 10 minutes or so. Ryan Kelliher bagged a consolation goal, a bullet header turned home from a Nathan Gleeson cross left Clarke with no chance in the Galway goal.
But a second for Keita and a brace from Walsh, one from the penalty spot, meant it was an extremely tough night for the newly formed Kerry FC squad. Galway United, a fully professional side, sit top of the table with 12 points from a possible 12 and look full value to be promoted to the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. For Kerry FC, it is now time to regroup and go again as we travel to Ferrycarrig Park to face Wexford FC on St Patrick’s Day with kick-off at the earlier time of 6 pm.
Galway United: Brendan Clarke, Regan Donelon, Robert Slevin, Killian Brouder, Stephen Walsh, Ronan Manning, Vincent Borden, Francely Lomboto, Colm Horgan, Conor McCormack, Edward McCarthy
Kerry FC: Wayne Guthrie, Sean O’Connell, Kalen Spillane, Sean McGrath, Matt Keane, Leo Gaxha, Sean Kennedy, Kevin Williams, Nathan Gleeson, Samuel Aladesanusi, Ronan Teahan.
Kerry FC Subs used: Alex Ainscough, Ryan Kelliher, Cian Barrett, Jonathan Hannafin, Cian Brosnan