A critical SSE Airtricity League premier division contest beckons for Galway United when they travel to Turners Cross tomorrow to face Cork City.
John Caulfield's title-chasing Cork side suffered two demoralising league defeats to Limerick FC and Shamrock Rovers recently, but they responded in the FAI Cup when cruising to a surprising emphatic win over St Patrick's Athletic last Friday.
At the same time United's interest in the same competition was ended by Dundalk, who came from behind to beat Tommy Dunne's side. A Jake Keegan header edged Galway in front before Dundalk exploited the home team's defensive hesitancy at set pieces again.
“It was a night to forget in that another couple of set pieces cost us,” was Dunne's verdict. “I thought we were playing quite well up to that. We looked like we were solid enough even though Dundalk were good. They are a decent team; it was a fair result.
"That is the disappointing factor. We have spoken about it. When it is a one v one situation, if you’re not prepared to make the runs and be tight, be aggressive to defend, it will cost you.
“Getting caught with those silly little things at set plays cost us. Overall my main concern was that we didn’t pick up any more injuries. The way we are regarding injuries is bad so from that aspect we were happy."
Kilian Cantwell and Stephen Walsh may be fit to return following injury for the Cork encounter.
“It is a tough game away to Cork. I suppose they will look at it and say if they don’t beat us, the league is over from their point of view. We are going down with a few players back, so we will have more choice. We will have to try to pick up something, it is a bigger game.
"Kilian Cantwell is OK, he should be in contention. Stephen Walsh did some light training before the Dundalk game, he is OK.”
Long term absentees Andy O'Connell and talisman Ryan Connolly could be ready for another significant assignment with Longford Town on Saturday, September 5 at Eamonn Deacy Park.
“Andy O’Connell isn’t far off. Ryan Connolly has trained this week, so it is starting to look a bit more competitive compared to what it was.”
Conceding soft goals has been a frustrating feature of United's campaign according to Dunne.
“We started the game well, but when you give easy goals away you have a mountain to climb. They are a good side, the fourth goal was a good goal from them, you cannot have any arguments with that. It is just the set pieces - if you don’t give away goals like that you stay in the game, you are competitive. We have other things to look at going forward, but we are disappointed to go out of the Cup. We knew we were going to be up against it.”
Galway's last league match saw the Tribesmen claim a hard earned draw against Drogheda United which ended a four match losing sequence. The excellent attitude and application demonstrated in that particular fixture needs to be replicated on the banks of the Lee.
Bus to Cork City
Galway United Supporters Trust is running a bus to Friday's match against Cork City at Turners Cross, leaving The Dail Bar, Cross Street, Galway, at 3.30pm. Seats can be booked by contacting Dominick Walsh (087 ) 9163438 or Ronan Coleman (087 ) 6972823. GUST will have a stand in the Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road this Saturday. Tickets for the upcoming EA Sports Cup Final on Saturday September 19 will be on sale.