HAVING closed the gap on league leaders Longford Town last weekend, Mervue United will look to keep the pressure on at the summit of the First Division table when they travel to third-placed Finn Harps for a crucial Airtricity League fixture tonight (Friday, 8pm).
Arguably, this is Mervue’s biggest game so far this season as victory will open up a four-point gap on Finn Harps while even a draw would cement their place at the top of the table behind Longford Town, who they face in a week’s time.
Indeed, this is a hectic seven days or so for Johnny Glynn’s charges, given that sandwiched in between is an EA Sports Cup – or League Cup – match away to Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Monday night (7:45pm). Glynn admitted these three tough games in a week will test the mettle of his squad.
At any rate, Glynn was not underplaying the value of last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Waterford United, noting that after a run of draws, the victory provided a huge psychological boost – not only in terms of the result itself but also in putting points on the board and improving goal difference – for his side.
“We were disappointed to have dropped points in recent weeks, so it was great to get the win before we headed into our next two games against Finn Harps and Longford,” said Glynn, who acknowledged the first of these league fixtures was crucial to both United and Harps.
“It really is and they will be expecting to take us when we travel up there on Friday. I went to see them play against Longford Town last Saturday and when I left on the 80th minute they were 3-0 up, although Longford did score two consolation goals after that. So, it is a tough one for us.”
Finn Harps took the lead against Longford on 19 minutes through Sean McCarron before Kevin McHugh and Longford’s William McDonagh (own goal) added to the Donegal outfit’s tally on 33 and 81 minutes respectively. Mark Salmon and Michael Isichei belatedly responded for the league leaders.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.