Opportunity knocks for United in Cobh

Galway United travel to St Colman's Park to face in-form Cobh Ramblers in the SSE Airtricity first division in an unlikely top of the table clash tomorrow (5pm ).

They should make the journey south with supreme confidence after their historic mauling of league newcomers Kerry FC in Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday night.

Ed McCarthy (3 ), Ibrahim Keita (2 ), Stephen Walsh (2 ), Francely Lomboto and Rob Slevin all netted in a lobsided contest to hand United the biggest competitive win in their history.

More significantly, it meant four wins on the spin for John Caulfield's side as they seek to mount a challenge for automatic promotion. The manager will be back in the dugout tomorrow after serving a suspension, and he will undoubtedly be pleased with the options at his disposal.

Brendan Clarke is leading a solid and settled defence, boasting experience and grit. Colm Horgan and Regan Donelon have contributed handsomely in the full-back positions, while Slevin and Killian Brouder have struck up a tough partnership at the back that also carries a big threat from set pieces.

In the middle Conor McCormack is flourishing with Vincent Borden covering every blade, on the right Ed McCarthy's game has reached new levels, and on the left Ronan Manning is a constant menace to opponents.

David Hurley and Stephen Walsh have largely carried the fight up top so far, though Lomboto enjoyed a welcome start last Friday. Hometown hero Walsh scored the goals his efforts merited late last week, and they have Keita, Darren Clarke, Mikie Rowe and Rob Manley to augment their efforts and make significant contributions when called on.

Despite the undoubted strengths, Cobh always provide a stern test on a difficult pitch. They have accumulated an impressive 10 points in their opening games under the stewardship of former United manager Shane Keegan.

Wilson Waweru was on target last Friday for Ramblers, but is unavailable tomorrow as he is on loan from United. Charlie Lyons has also featured prominently since his return to Cobh from Galway, while Jack Doherty has scored three in four games from midfield.

Despite it being just the fifth game of 36, tomorrow's tie offers United another opportunity to stake their title credentials. With pre-season challengers such as Waterford and Finn Harps struggling somewhat in their early encounters, the Tribesmen will be seeking to press home the early advantage.•Galway United Friends Co-op is running a bus to Friday's first division match at St Colman's Park, leaving from The Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway at 12.30pm, and picking up at The Maldron Hotel, Oranmore. To book a seat, contact Stephen Connolly (085 ) 2206645.


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