An SSE Airtricity League premier division campaign that promised so much early on in the season is edging towards a worrying conclusion for Galway United, who make the long trek to the Brandywell on Friday for a clash against Derry City (7.45pm ).
Last Saturday evening United suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Sligo Rovers, who finished strongly netting the winner in injury time courtesy of Achille Campion. Tommy Dunne’s team hit the front in the second half when Gary Shanahan scored, but Rovers’ Raffaele Cretaro equalised before Campion landed the late knockout blow.
“We were really disappointed,” United assistant manager Leo Tierney said. “We thought for most of the game it was an even, and we had the lead obviously. Then they got the equaliser and the momentum swung the other way.
“I thought before Sligo got the goal we had a few chances from set pieces and corners. We were really, really disappointed to lose it.
“They had corners and some pressure, but the keeper wasn't making saves all over the place. It was that kind of a game, both sides were having possession trying to create chances without really cutting each other open. In the end it was a good ball in the box and a good finish.
“We are all very, very disappointed not to get a result. We felt with our performance we deserved to get something out of the game.”
Unfortunately that has been the case in several recent matches as United have slipped to three defeats on the spin since stunning league leaders Dundalk on August 5.
Sligo boss Dave Robertson praised the Tribesmen acknowledging it was a cruel way to lose the game. “We are delighted with the result,” Robertson commented. “It was a hard fought game as expected. Galway are a decent team. The disappointing thing for me was they dropped off and hit us on the counter attack. That is where their goal came from. They didn't really threaten us too much throughout the game. I was happy with that. I think we have learned a lot as a team.
“I'll be honest, if I was Tommy Dunne I'd be absolutely devastated, to lose it with virtually the last kick of the game," Roberston remarked. "It is the same thing week in, week out. The referee has played four minutes at the end, there was only supposed to be two minutes of injury time. You are thinking what is going on?
“We have to put up with this week in, week out. For me it is absolutely scandalous because there is no reporting system or dialogue. If I'm honest it is probably better for me to say this after we have won the game so it isn't sour grapes. It is just inconsistent.
“In my opinion it is unacceptable. Until there is dialogue and accountability - as a manager I'm accountable for results, the players are accountable for performances. Here the referees aren't accountable for anything. To play four minutes at the end is ridiculous in my opinion.”
Now United will be anxious to respond against the Candystripes, who have only lost twice at home in 2016. Derry have won seven out of their 12 fixtures at the Brandywell so United will need to be resilient.
Next Tuesday, September 6, United return to Eamonn Deacy Park action when hosting Shamrock Rovers.
•Galway United Supporters Trust are running a bus to Fridays SSE Airtricity League match at The Brandywell, leaving from The Dail Bar, Middle Street, Galway at 2.30pm. Seats can be booked by contacting Stephen Dowling at (086 ) 2361040 or Ronan Coleman at (087 ) 6972823.