Galway United make the long trek to Ferrycarrig Park tomorrow evening for an SSE Airtricity League premier division clash against Wexford Youths (8pm ).
Although Wexford have lost three of their four home matches to date this season, tomorrow's fixture promises to be revealing for Tommy Dunne’s rapidly developing United.
On Monday, United bossed the vast majority of the EA Sports Cup second-round clash with Finn Harps, but it took a penalty shoot-out to finally overcome the Donegal outfit in Eamonn Deacy Park.
Dunne had made seven changes to the side that had drawn with Cork City at the same venue on Friday, and teenage goalkeeper Kevin Horgan made two splendid stops in the shoot-out.
“We took some good penalties, Kevin Horgan was very good in goal, he saved the penalties well so I'm delighted for him,” Dunne said. “He works extremely hard, he is a good professional like his brothers. We are just delighted to get into the next round.
“I felt we should have won it inside 90 minutes with the chances we created. We had enough chances to win three or four matches, but we just didn't take our chances. That was probably the negative about the night.
“ To have played extra time is disappointing, because we have a long trip to Wexford on Friday, but we will get on with it. These are the hands you are dealt. A lot of players who hadn't played and who had not got game time were back in. For that it was good, we are through to the next round.”
Harps' custodian Ciaran Gallagher made several remarkable saves during the contest, but Dunne was enthused by the United performance, particularly Alex Byrne’s welcome return to midfield following a lengthy injury enforced absence.
“We were through a lot of times, but we didn't finish well,” Dunne said of United's finishing. “We might need to work on that a bit more with the guys. Padraic Cunningham will always get a chance in on the keeper because he is so quick. It is something we need to sort out. Defensively we got a clean sheet, I was happy with that.
“I thought across the back we played well, I thought Paul Sinnott marshalled the back four very well. I thought Marc Ludden had a good game. Alex Byrne had his first game for quite a while, he was good, Eric Foley was good. There were a lot of positives, I was just disappointed it took so long to get the win."
Dunne remains hopeful about what United can achieve this season with the increasing depth of the squad a source of optimism.
“Last year as we well know we bled guys dry basically. We had a good run in the [EA Sports] Cup and we were in the FAI Cup too. It over extended the group. This time around we are able to bring in a lot of other guys and we still expect to do well. From that aspect it is good for us.”
Galway United Supporters Trust will be running a bus to tomorrow's match at Ferrycarraig Park, departing The Dail Bar at 2pm. Contact Ronan Coleman 087 6972823 or Dominick Walsh 087-9163438.