United head to Limerick after disappointing Longford loss

Galway United's Ivan Gamara and Cabinteely's Robert Manley in action from the SSE Airtricity First Division Clash  at Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday night. 
Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United's Ivan Gamara and Cabinteely's Robert Manley in action from the SSE Airtricity First Division Clash at Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United make the short trip to the Markets Field for an SSE Airtricity League First Division encounter against Limerick FC on Saturday evening, kick off 6.30pm.

Despite producing a gutsy second half display at the City Calling Stadium on Monday United still suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Longford Town. Some early lapses in concentration were exploited by promotion chasing Longford, who started smartly.

After the restart United improved significantly especially following the introduction of Shane Doherty, who clipped a delightful goal. In the closing stages United poured forward in search of a leveller, but were unable to score again as the midlanders’ survived.

The previous Friday United were unfortunate to divide the spoils with Cabinteely at Eamonn Deacy Park. Alan Murphy’s outfit carved several good chances, but Cabinteely escaped from the west armed with a precious point.

That match also featured some inventive moments from Doherty, who has shown considerable promise in recent weeks according to Murphy. “He is a great lad, he does exactly what it says on the tin,” the United boss says about Doherty’s attitude and application.

“He is full of energy, full of honesty, he wants to make his name. His application is second to none, he is an absolute gent of a guy with a big future. He has a lot of learning to do, he is very raw at times. I'm glad we took a chance on him when some others didn't.”

Murphy also praised Doherty’s eagerness to develop further and willingness to absorb advice. “He was devastating at times giving teams some serious bother,” Murphy admits. “The best of players have to work on final product, he has got big ears, he will listen, he is very positive and he will grow from that.”

Doherty’s form is a source of optimism, while Murphy located positives from the manner in which United competed with Cabinteely too. "I think a draw in the end was maybe a fair result,” Murphy reflected.

“I thought they started the better, but I thought in the last half an hour they were on life support a little bit at times. They were panicking a lot, we had a lot of pressure and some great chances, but luck wasn't with us.”

Considering United had suffered a demoralising loss to Drogheda United, Murphy, who missed that game in Louth due to illness, was satisfied with the response.

“I was hugely happy with the performance after the lack of a performance last week in Drogheda,” Murphy stressed. “Unfortunately I wasn't there so I can't be too harsh on them, but just from looking at the footage.”

Next on the agenda for United is a clash with Limerick, who drew with Athlone Town on Friday. Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Jason Hughes, and Shane Tracy all established League of Ireland footballers in Tommy Barrett's side.

United, though, who have been ravaged by injury problems, will be anxious to earn something in the south west. Doherty and Vinny Faherty have combined impressively in attack, while the fact that so many emerging players are being afforded opportunities is noteworthy. Joshua Keane Quinlivan was the latest teenager to sample action in Longford as a young United squad continues to earn experience.

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