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Kerry FC v Galway Utd Match Report

Kerry FC v Galway Utd Match Report

Kerry FC played their first pre-season friendly match on Thursday evening as they took on newly promoted Galway United in Killarney Celtic’s Derreen football grounds. Ahead of the game, Kerry FC had a remarkably busy day with the signing of Croatian goalkeeper Antonio Tuta who left Finn Harps at the end of last season, and the highly anticipated re-signing of Kennedy Amechi. Kerry FC went with a strong starting eleven and had four of the five signing lined out to play from minute one. Tuta made the bench after signing only a few hours before the game and was expected to make an appearance in this friendly game.

Leo Gaxha made his return to the kingdom playing with Galway on Thursday and was happy to see all his former teammates. Of course, Galway United loanee’s Daire McCarthy and Steven Healy also lined out for Kerry as they looked to get more minutes into their legs against their parent club.

It was a cold one in Killarney with a lot of snow fall from the night before still on the ground, but it did not stop Kerry fans from all around the county from coming out to support the boys in this warmup for the 2024 season.

First Half:
The first half did not bring many opportunities from either side Kerry have looked a lot more defensively solid over the last couple of games. They were not hugely tested against Avondale
and of course playing Galway they looked to hold their own for the opening half an hour. The defending was solid but that hindered the chances in attack with Nathan Gleeson having a bit of joy on the left wing, but nothing came of any of his opportunities.

Just after the half hour mark Galway United took the lead through Stephen Walsh who was on the end of a cross and finished home with a volley, a very quick snapshot which worked out very
well for United’s number seven. Galway Trialist 1 picked up a knock early in the first half and had to be replaced by Trialist 6. This was the only change in the opening half. Leo Gaxha was
quite playing as a shadow striker who seemed to be everywhere but was unable to make anything happen for his new side.

Second Half:
Antonio Tuta replaced Lee Axworthy at half time to give the new man his debut. Tuta would be put to work quickly as just six minutes after the restart Karl O’Sullivan hit a superb volley onto the far corner from a breaking ball off a corner scramble on the left side to double the visitors tally. Kennedy Amechi and Sean O’Connell made their way on shortly after the second goal. Three minutes after the substitutes, Galway made it 3-0 when a shot on the left foot of Edward McCarthy took a big deflection and took the ball past Tuta and into the bottom left corner.

Kerry brought on the rest of their substitutes for the duration of the game, and it took one of our Trialists to test the Galway goalkeeper for the first time. A shot on the left side took enough out of the keeper to earn a corner which he subsequently claimed. Kennedy Amechi had a great double chance saved by the Galway Trialist keeper both times from close range. Kerry grew into
the game more as time went on and they gave a good account of themselves, but ultimately lost to a much stronger Galway United Premier Division side.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Lee Axworthy, 15. Kevin Williams, 18. Sam Aladesanusi, 4. Andy Spain (C), 6. Jack Kavanagh, 8. Steven Healy, 10. Daire McCarthy, 23. Ronan Teahan, 14. Nathan Gleeson, 9. Ryan
Kelliher, 21. Daniel Okwute.

Subs: Antonio Tuta, Sean O’Connell, Ethan Kos, Kennedy Amechi, Graham O’reilly, Oisin Breen, Cian Brosnan, Trialist’s 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

Galway United Team: 1. Brendan Clarke, 5. Killian Brouder, 7. Stephen Walsh (Goal ‘30), 10. David Hurley, 11. Trialist 3 (Goal ‘51), 12. Leo Gaxha, 17. Vincent Borden (C), 18. Trialist 4, 24. Edward Mccarthy (Goal ‘64), 30. Trialist 2, 33. Trialist 1.

Subs: 16. Trialist 5, 2. Conor O’Keefe, 4. Robert Slevin, 8. Aodh Dervin, 15. Patrick Hickey, 21. Trialist 6, 27. Kyle Fitzgerald, 28. Trialist 7, 29. Billy Regan.