For Galway United, it was a case of former heroes devoid of sentiment at Eamonn Deacy Park, as Shamrock Rovers survived a scare to advance to the semi-finals of the FAI Cup

Former home defender Lee Grace scored a last-gasp winner to deny a brave United and see the Premier Division side into the last four of the competition.

United went in ahead at the break but were camped in their own half in the second 45 and had their hearts broken by a former team-mate in injury time.

Rovers were restricted to very few chances by a really well-organised United side, who may wonder what would have happened had they not given away a very sloppy equaliser early in the second half.

United had defied the odds in the opening half - they were 35/1 before the game to win - going ahead through Maurice Nugent, but the in-form Aaron Greene ensured that Rovers could relax a little and Grace decided the tie from a corner at the end. 

That said, United, with a very young side, will be delighted with their effort here. At the very least, they have something to build on.

The first ten minutes, at the end of which Ronan Finn fizzed a shot wide, were cagey: Galway sat back, allowing Rovers to play the ball around until they got to United's defensive third.

Another Rovers chance came 15 minutes in, Finn's corner headed wide by ex-United favourite Lee Grace.

Galway started with confidence, and the crowd began to warm to their endeavour. Superb play by Joe Collins released Conor Melody, only for Roberto Lopes to block.

Rovers very nearly took the lead on 25 minutes, a terrible error of judgment from former Rovers stopper Kevin Horgan: he missed an attempted punch on a Graham Burke pass but Greene's header went just wide, the goal open.

United took the lead on 34 minutes. From a corner, Stephen Christopher's shot was deflected and Nugent poked home from close range with coolness.

United's discipline was really impressive, giving away hardly any fouls and frustrating the Hoops. After some magic by Burke, Marc Ludden made a brilliant block on half-time.

Aaron Green levelled for the Hoops

Rovers' duress was evinced at the break when boss Stephen Bradley moved Danny Lafferty to right-back, pushing Ronan Fenn forward. However, United threatened first, with Christopher flashing wide when Rovers were on the stretch.

Rovers equalised ten minutes into the second half when United failed to clear from a corner, Burke smashed the ball across the box and Greene pounced.

The visitors were on top in the third quarter of the game and Dylan Watts' drive was batted away by Horgan. Watts and Greene then combined but Burke's drive failed to trouble Horgan.

Burke again half-tested Horgan with 16 minutes left. And again, it was Burke who shot straight at Horgan with 12 minutes to go, the Irish international finding more space.

Exceptional defending by Nugent denied Watts a certain goal with five minutes left as United struggled to hold out for a draw. From the corner, Grace headed agonisingly wide.  

Horgan made excellent saves from Burke and Greene in injury time before Grace stole in at the death to head home at the back post.

Galway United: K Horgan; Lynch, Brouder, Walsh, Ludden; Higgins, Nugent, Collins (C Horgan 71), Christopher; Melody (Faherty 75), Barry (Davoren 84).

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Grace, Lopes, Lafferty (Bolger 78); Finn, Watts, O'Neill, McEneff, S Kavanagh; Greene, Burke.

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).