Mervue United have endured a hugely disappointing start to the Airtricity League season, but they will be eager to deliver a vastly improved performance when Finn Harps visit Fahy's Field tomorrow.
Two draws and six losses in eight games shows how much Mervue have struggled, and last Saturday at Flancare Park they were beaten soundly by Longford Town.
A late Pat Hoban brace put a gloss of respectability on the final 4-2 scoreline, but it was another cruel loss as Mervue remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
When Harps and Mervue collided earlier in the campaign the Donegal outfit shaded a seven-goal thriller in Ballybofey. That result injected Harps with confidence which has since seen them move into fifth position with 12 points.
In the past two weeks Harps outfoxed high-flying Longford, but Limerick FC secured an important win in the northwest. Still, Harps have a decent crop of promising footballers with Kevin McHugh providing the attacking experience and guile up front. Elsewhere Thomas McBride, Shaun McGowan, Paul Simon Treacy, and Ciaran Coll have delivered steady performances for Harps since they overcame Mervue last month.
Hoban's goals in the midlands were a reminder of his ability, but Mervue need to start earning results quickly. The standings make for grim reading at present with Mervue nine points behind third from bottom Waterford United, while SD Galway trail the Suirsiders by eight.
Johnny Glynn needs Mike Elwood, Marc Ludden, Alex Lee, Gary Kelly, Alan Murphy, Etanda Nkololo, and Hoban to contribute handsomely when Harps visit the west.
Having lost their unbeaten home record SD Galway make the long journey to Ferrycarrig Park tomorrow with Wexford Youths providing the opposition. Going into last Friday's tussle with Athlone Town SD Galway had taken encouragement from Terryland Park draws with Wexford, Mervue and Longford.
However, in front of a small attendance at the Dyke Road venue, Athlone were simply solid and that was enough to claim the full complement of spoils.
Similar to Mervue SD Galway's squad is stuffed with youngsters so Tony Mannion will be hoping that Tom Bradshaw, Ronan Conlon, Brian Gaffney, and Enda Curran continue to develop as they learn about the League of Ireland. Things can change quickly for teams, especially in the first division, with Wexford an obvious example. At the tail end of 2011 Wexford required a last day of the season triumph over Salthill Devon to preserve their status, but they have made strides in the opening two months of this campaign.
Wexford are in third place after posting four wins so far, but their form has been mixed at Ferrycarrig with two victories and two reversals out of four fixtures. SD Galway have not avoided defeat on the road yet, but Mannion will be hoping that barren run ends in Wexford.