SOMETHING has to give tonight when Galway United travel to Ballybofey to take on Finn Harps (8pm) in a meeting between two sides are still looking for their first points of the season.
It is the first of two games in the space of 72 hours for United, as they host Shamrock Rovers in Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday (7pm), but the focus for now is solely on the trip to Donegal, with club captain, Colm Horgan, saying it is a must-win game for United.
“We’ve killed ourselves with two defeats, we’ve put ourselves under a huge amount of pressure. Realistically we should have had three points last week, and could have come away with a point against Cork, but now we have to go up to Harps, and we really need to beat them,” Horgan said after Friday night’s defeat in Turner Cross.
While United have conceded five goals in their two league games to-date, there is a real issue at the other end of the pitch. United are the only team yet to score in the league – they have been creating chances, and had they converted even a fifth of the opportunities they created against Drogheda, they would have taken all three points.
It is a bit early to be hitting the panic button, and there are five sides all without a point in the league after just two games, but you would expect the likes of Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic to get their house in order sooner rather than later; and with three sides going down at the end of the season, United can’t afford to be cut adrift at the foot of the table at this early stage.
Like United, Harps have also lost two on the bounce, but they have shown promise: they lost 1-0 at home to Cork on the opening night, and while they lost 5-3 away to Bray Wanderers at the weekend, at least two of the goals they conceded were down to woeful refereeing decisions by Anthony Buttimer.
They have plenty of talent in the ranks, such as Paddy McCourt and Barry Molloy; they are a physically strong side; and given that the pitch at Ballybofey can be heavy-going at the best of times, never mind after the heavy rainfall of the past fortnight, it could be a difficult night for United, but it is one in which the players can prove a point to themselves, and the doubters.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.