Mervue must overcome derby disappointment
Cause of celebration: SD Galway’s Eugene Greaney after scoring a goal in Saturday’s Airtricity League first division clash with fellow Galway side Mervue United. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy
By Cian O’connell
Disappointed following last Friday's derby defeat, Mervue United will be keen to examine Longford Town's title credentials at Fahy's Field tomorrow evening.
Tony Cousins' midlanders currently lead the Airtricity League first division table so Mervue can expect a demanding encounter.
Mervue were eventually caught out by SD Galway in their last fixture as a string of missed chances proved costly. Now Johnny Glynn's charges will be hoping to relaunch their campaign against a Longford team that has surprised the majority of those with an interest in domestic affairs this year.
While Limerick FC remain very much involved in the race at the top, the manner in which Longford have competed offers hope for all clubs. There is the usual mixture of youth and experience in Longford's ranks and any side at this level featuring Des Hope, Chris Deans, Michael Lee, Keith Gillespie, Gary Shaw, Karl Bermingham, and Daniel Purdy deserves to be respected.
Mervue felt that they should have defeated SD Galway, but they were not clinical enough in converting opportunities. That needs to be rectified as they have only scored 17 goals in 14 matches.
With only eight teams in the division, tomorrow represents the start of the third series of fixtures and Mervue have already suffered two losses against Longford.
On the first night of the season Shaw nicked the decisive goal, while a 4-2 success on April 21 was all about Longford's early enthusiasm. On that occasion Longford bagged four inside 25 minutes so Mervue will be intent on being more resilient early on.
It has been a trying three-month spell for SD Galway, but they will be encouraged by their first victory last weekend. Twelve reversals in 15 competitive encounters was the record SD Galway brought across town to Fahy's Field, but they posted their first success in 16 games.
Goals in the closing stages from Eugene Greaney and the promising Timmy Molloy capped an encouraging SD Galway revival.
Tony Mannion's team travel to Lissywoolen for a clash with Athlone Town and they will travel with a degree of optimism now the wretched winless streak has been halted.
Still SD Galway will need to show similar levels of drive and desire on a regular basis because they have the worst defensive and attacking statistics in the league. SD Galway have just scored 10 and have leaked 30, so there is huge scope for improvement.
However last weekend’s derby win means SD Galway have trimmed the deficit to second from bottom Mervue down to two points and, if results go well for Mannion's men in the coming weeks and months, they may be able to climb over their neighbours.