MERVUE United will hope the recent good weather will continue to shine on them when they make their own trip to the seaside tonight to take on Bray Wanderers in the Second Round of the FAI Ford Cup.
Johnny Glynn’s side make the trip east to the Carlisle Grounds (7.45pm) for a first-ever competitive meeting between the two clubs, and the manager has backed his side to recover from their mini-slump which has seen them lose three game on the bounce, their worst run of the season.
That form – two defeats in the League, and an exit from the EA Sports Cup – could not come at a worse time for Mervue United as they face a step-up in the level of opposition tonight against a Bray side which is one of the form teams in the top flight, having won three of their last four games in the league against Drogheda United, Cork City and Shelbourne, while the fourth game was a scoreless draw away to champions, Sligo Rovers.
“We’ll approach the game like any other. I’m not too worried about our recent little run, every team has a dip in form, and it is up to use to turn that around,” Glynn told Tribune Sport.
“I suppose in a way the pressure is off in that we are away from home and facing a team in the division above us, but we will be making the trip looking for a win and maybe build on the good cup run we had last year,” Glynn said.
The Fahy’s Field side made it to the quarter-finals last season, defeating Salthill Devon in the Second Round and hammering Waterford United 4-0 in the RSC in the Third Round, before suffering a mauling of their own in the last eight, coming out on the wrong side of a 7-1 scoreline away to eventual winners, Derry City.
Glynn faces a selection dilemma in midfield as he will be without both Gary Curran (knee) and Alex Lee (foot), while defender Mile Elwood has emigrated to the US.
However the side is likely to be boosted by the return of captain Tom King, who came on as a substitute against Longford Town last weekend and came through that 20 minute cameo unscathed, having missed the previous three games through injury.
Mervue have struggled to find the net in his absence – one goal in three games – so his return could not be more timely, while Barry O’Mahoney returns from suspension.
Lomboto’s late strike earns United share of the spoils
Galway United 2
Athlone Town 2
GALWAY United had to twice come from behind against basement side Athlone Town on Monday night to snatch a draw that was, on balance, probably a little harsh on the visiting side.
Completely outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, United had an absolute howler from visiting goalkeeper, Aaron Myles, to thank for going into the break on level terms; and then needed an equaliser five minutes from time to claim a draw against a side that came into the game having lost all four games they had played this season.
Alan Murphy’s side already find themselves nine points behind the league leaders just four games into the season, and a major improvement is needed if they are to finish in the top half of the table and inside the play-off spots.
Their central midfield was way off the mark on Monday night – both Maurice Nugent and Sam Warde were hauled ashore before the final whistle – and having abandoned the 4-4-2 formation which delivered some decent results near the end of last season, they are struggling to get quality ball into the opposition box.
With Shane Duggan expected to return to central midfield after suspension for this Saturday’s trip to Cobh Ramblers, it might be time to go with some out-and-out wingers and get some cohesion in the side.
The first couple of half chances on Monday fell to the home side, but Mikey Place didn’t get any power behind his second minute effort; while Marc Ludden was well off target subsequently.
The visitors, who had the opening half’s best player in their ranks in the guise of Galway native, Ronan Manning, went close a couple of times themselves in the ninth minute, United surviving thanks to Cian Murphy getting a block on Adam Lennon’s shot; while Kevin Horgan pulled off a ‘worldie’ to deny Joel Coustrain from the subsequent corner.
By that stage, the visitors were starting to get on top, and they took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when Manning’s corner from the left was met by Taner Dogan at the back post to head home as the United marking was, not for the first time this season, shambolic at a set-piece.
Tempers were starting to fray a little, with both sides having two players finding their way into the notebook of Dublin referee, Oliver Moran, before United were gifted an equaliser in the 41st minute.
Full report in this week’s Connacht Tribune
Doyle bags hat-trick in Galway WFC romp
GALWAY WFC notched a second win in a row in the Women’s National League when they defeated Limerick 6-1 at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon.
A McKenna Doyle hat trick and goals from Sadbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton and Aoife Thompson helped the Galway women to a resounding win. Five of the six goals for Galway were assisted by Lynsey McKey during what was a stellar performance by the experienced midfielder.
Galway WFC are back in action at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm) when they welcome league leaders Peamount United.
See full match report in City Tribune Sport.
Cup offers United chance to boost morale
HAVING insisted all year that Galway United’s First Division campaign has been about developing their young talents, manager Alan Murphy has admitted this Sunday’s first round FAI Cup tie against Leinster Senior League side, Collinstown at Whitehall Stadium (2pm) is about winning.
United have not recorded a competitive victory since mid-May, when they came from behind to see off Longford Town 2-1 in a First Division fixture at Eamonn Deacy Park. That win came courtesy of two Vinny Faherty goals.
Since then, they have lost eight of their twelve outings, with their four draws coming against Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, and the First Division’s bottom team, Wexford Youths, who have won just two First Division fixtures this season.
However, this weekend’s Cup game against a non-League of Ireland outfit could provide a much-needed morale boosting victory for his charges.
“It would,” acknowledged Murphy. “Even to be in the next round of the FAI Cup would be huge; it would be huge for this group of inexperienced players that I have really. I mean, every game is a brilliant chance for these guys to get another little bit of experience, and to experience a different challenge, and this weekend will provide exactly that.
“I have said, week in, week out, this is a development year and these players need experience but this weekend is probably a little bit more about winning than it has been all season because of the fact you will be out of the competition if you don’t win,” he said.
Se full preview in City Tribune Sport.