Mervue United’s hunt for a top-four finish in the Eircom League A Championship continues on Saturday with a home fixture against Derry City (2pm ).
With three games remaining in the league, Mervue, as one of three new clubs in this year’s competition, will be keen to grab one of those places to qualify for a vital promotion fixture against the bottom team in the first division
They currently sit in fifth position with 14 points - just one behind Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United, who do have games in hand. Leading the table is Bohemians with 23 points and seven wins, followed by Finn Harps with 19.
Mervue will have been boosted by their 4-0 win over local rivals Salthill Devon, but they can expect a tight tussle against a Derry outfit that is just two points behind the Galwegians.
Last weekend Mervue proved the more economical and hungry in their local derby in Drom.
Although Salthill carved the opening chance, Mervue opened through Ollie Keogh when taking advantage of a disputed throw, while adding a second through Rory Gaffney.
They finished off with another two as the game neared its end. Striker Dave Goldbey withstood a few tackles before threading the ball to the unmarked Gary Traynor who finished coolly to the net, while Dave O’Brien blasted the ball to the top corner of the net from a free midway between the box and the half-way line.
While Mervue will be hoping to repeat that performance when they host Derry, Salthill face the more difficult challenge of Drogheda United, who posted a 3-0 victory over Derry City at the weekend.
Mervue United also enjoyed success in their opening u-20 league fixture, posting a 1 - 0 victory over Finn Harps. Under the management team of Brendan O'Connor and Brian Laffey, they made the perfect start to their season in what was a difficult away assignment in Ballybofey.
Mervue started brightly with both Alex Lee and Paul Smith tormenting the Finn Harps’ defence from the outset, and with all the early pressure, they took the lead from a well orchestrated free-kick which resulted in skipper David O'Brien hitting low to the left hand corner of the net.
Mervue continued to bring the game to their more illustrious opponents with Mike O'Halloran and David O'Brien commanding the middle of the park and Dan Cunningham being a constant treat to the home side’s rearguard. In the second half Harps ‘re-arranged attack was constantly threatening, but they could not break through the outstanding Mevue back line which was well marshalled by Mike Elwood and Paul Scally.
Harps, with both Patrick Bonner and Christy Connaghan who have featured in their first team, continued to press hard but they failed to find a way past what was a terrific all-round Mervue performance on the night.