Encouraged by Friday's SSE Airtricity League first division win over Wexford Youths, Galway FC will be hoping for another positive result when visiting City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening for a clash with Longford Town.
Tony Cousins' Longford squad is loaded with experienced domestic performers so it will be a tricky test for Galway, who were solid throughout a keenly contested encounter in Wexford. It ultimately concluded with Galway's most noteworthy achievement of the campaign to date as Ryan Manning's clever header proved to be the decisive blow. Such solidity must be displayed in the midlands.
With Wexford physical and feisty, Dunne was happy with how his players adapted to eke out a smashing success.
“For the first 20 minutes we weren't at the pace of the game and were lucky to come in 0-0 at half time,” Dunne said. “The boys got moving then in the second half, we changed it, we started off with a certain system, but then we moved into a different system and we looked like more of a threat that way.
“The pitch possibly wasn't conducive to the play we were looking to do early on, but in other matches we've dominated and we haven't got the rub of the green, so we'll take it.”
How Galway 'shackled' Danny Furlong, one of the most threatening attackers in the division, was another aspect that proved vital.
“I think we shackled him quite well [Furlong],” Dunne agreed. “We still have to be more composed and as a unit, we have to work on that, but we will.
“In the second half we were getting into good areas of the park and Vinny Faherty was unlucky when he hit the bottom of the post with the header, Jake Keegan, with a brilliant ball from Ryan Manning, possibly could have finished and killed the match. The goal itself was a great goal, great ball from Stephen Walsh, but also too, seeing the keeper, lobbing it over with a header, it was a good finish from Ryan.”
With one series of games completed, Galway have taken nine points and the challenge now is to improve their total during the next seven encounters before the halfway mark of the campaign.
Dunne says his youthful Galway outfit is a work in progress and wants to commit more bodies forward in the upcoming tussles.
“We're still creating chances, we just have to be a little bit more fluent trying to get more of a finish, but I think we will,” Dunne said. “We have to encourage the players more to get in the box, but your general play has to be good to allow guys to be able to get in.”
Now pre-season favourites Longford, who already beat Galway on the opening night of the campaign at Eamonn Deacy Park courtesy of a David O'Sullivan strike, await. The midlanders shrugged off Finn Harps' spirited resistance last Saturday as O'Sullivan rifled an important penalty.
Longford are eager to keep in touch with Shelbourne, who have made a dashing start with five wins and two draws. Galway have a similar brief too, though, and that is why the Longford fixture will be revealing.
•Galway United Supporters’ Trust is running a bus to Saturday’s match in Longford, departing The Dail Bar, Middle Street, Galway, at 3.30pm. Contact Dominick Walsh 087-9163438 or Ronan Coleman 087-6972823.