Having posted two victories over the May Bank Holiday weekend, Galway FC head to the Tallaght Stadium heartened for Sunday's crucial SSE Airtricity League first division encounter with Shamrock Rovers B.
Monday's EA Sports Cup triumph over Finn Harps ensures Galway have advanced to the quarter-final, and it provided yet more optimism for the Galway side following their excellent 2-0 win over Waterford United in the league on Friday night. That was a noteworthy result for a Galway outfit prompted by Ryan Connolly, who bagged a delightful goal.
Manager Tommy Dunne is encouraged his squad is beginning to generate some momentum.
“The League games are all big,” Dunne says. “We have to try to get three points in every match. It is that simple. In fairness to Rovers they have been keeping it quite consistent as regards players and the younger players they have been using.
“They had a great result against Finn Harps last week. We are under no illusions. A lot of people think because it is a young Rovers team that they are there for the taking, but they are at home in Tallaght.
“To get the two wins over the weekend helps in getting some momentum. The lads are putting in a lot of time and effort into it. We will be hoping to pick up three points in Tallaght because if you have any aspirations to keep up with Shelbourne, you have to win to get three points.”
That is what Galway did when Waterford visited Eamonn Deacy Park as goals from Stephen Walsh and a sweet effort from Connolly secured the spoils. The football was not as pretty in the clash with Harps, but Galway still advanced despite making eight changes to the team.
Ultimately 19 different players were given competitive starts in the two fixtures.
“A win is a win,” says Dunne. “I don't think it was the best game or the most entertaining game. It wasn't the best performance we had this year or anything, but in saying that we picked up a win.
“We are in the quarter-finals of the League Cup [EA Sports Cup] so from that aspect we are happy. A lot of players got game time too, Vinny got on the scoresheet, and we got a clean sheet too. Overall you cannot be too disappointed.”
United’s strike came courtesy of Vinny Faherty, who reacted smartly to rattle the Harps’ net after Jake Keegan had been thwarted by the woodwork.
“It was a great effort from Jake and Vinny finished the rebound well. After that we were a bit sloppy. They had the extra body in the middle of the pitch that caused us a few problems. We changed it in the second half and it settled down a little bit. It didn't spur us into creating a whole lot, but we made sure they didn't create too much.”
Dunne feels Galway is making steady progress and expects Republic of Ireland Schools’ captain Ryan Manning to be available for the Rovers joust.
“Our form is good. We wanted to improve our home form even though the performance wasn’t as good as we would have liked against Harps. Overall it has been a good last few weeks. The group as a whole is improving.”
With first division matches against Rovers B, Harps, and Cobh Ramblers imminent, Galway now need to stitch together a valuable winning sequence.