Suddenly a drop of optimism has crept back into Galway United's heart. The curious restorative powers of a scarcely merited away victory frequently can have that kind of effect on a football team. Galway showed courage and character in the Carlisle Grounds and Derek Glynn then provided the moment of craft and conviction that burned Bray Wanderers.
Three points were put into Galway's pocket, but this triumph was worth more as hope coursed through the Galway camp at full-time. The clenched fists that greeted the success hinted at a sense of satisfaction as Galway escaped from the seaside town with the full complement.
It was a savagely tepid affair, but that didn't matter to Galway, who merely needed to avoid defeat. That was accomplished and the tiny knot of visiting supporters headed home heartened.
Galway eked out a result and, considering that only two draws had been managed in the previous seven top flight encounters, a win was welcome regardless of how it arrived. Pluck has been demonstrated in the majority of those Galwegian displays, but it is points that are required.
Now Galway have to maintain this increased level of efficiency. The draw with Sligo Rovers was followed with a rare success in Bray. Can Galway stitch another game to this unbeaten sequence? Derry will enter Terryland Park slightly worried as they have been a tad inconsistent lately. Stephen Kenny is a shrewd and resourceful manager, though, and is gradually turning the Candystripes competitive again.
Despite an enterprising start to 2008 Derry's recent form has been erratic. An emphatic triumph over Bray Wandereres was sandwiched between two scoreless stalemates with Sligo Rovers and Bohemians. Galway would be satisfied to join Sligo and Bohs company by frustrating Derry. That is why so much hinges on how United defend.
True, Alvin Rouse was forced to make two smashing saves to deny Paddy Kavanagh in Bray, but there still was a grit and doggedness to the way United survived. John Lester, rugged throughout, exemplified Galway’s doughty determination and Galway will be anxious to perform with such solidity in the coming weeks. Bray were unable to exploit Galway's lack of swiftness at the back, and it was at the opposite end that a speedster seized the iniative.
Derek Glynn has finally returned to the United first XI and unsurprisingly opposing teams are fearful. Glynn flashed a reminder of why they should be bothered by nicking the only goal of a drab game with a moment of smooth opportunism. Armed with a poacher Galway will be eager to rattle a Derry outfit that has failed to fire in seven of its 19 Premier League matches in 2008.
Still, when Derry are in the groove there is no disputing that they can be menacing. Any club that outfoxes Drogheda United and St Patrick's Athletic deserves the utmost respect and the Candystripes will roll into the Dyke Road with high expectations. Outfoxing Galway is certainly within their remit, but Jeff Kenna's charges have dealt impressively with adversity thus far.
Disturbing Derry is the issue occupying United thoughts now. Another severe challenge is imminent, but providing Galway battle with zeal and zest, anything is possible.