With each passing week it becomes more apparent the impact Ian Foster is having as Galway United’s manager, and tomorrow’s trip to Oriel Park represents the latest interesting challenge.
Unsurprisingly Foster is targeting a victory as Galway attempt to secure a top-seven finish, which certainly seems to be within their remit. Last Friday’s triumph over St Patrick’s Athletic completed a clean-sweep of successes over the Dubliners, offering further credence to the belief that Foster is an immensely promising operator.
“If someone had said to me at the start of the season that we’d get four wins off the team that finished second last year, I’d have broken their wrist snapping their hand off. It’s an unbelievable achievement. What we have done more often than not is beat the teams around us,” was Foster’s fair appraisal of the 12 points accumulated in the fixtures against the Inchicore outfit.
Galway’s first-half display, prompted by Seamus Conneely and John Russell, was laced with skill which will need to be exhibited in Louth on the artificial surface. The visitors, though, are hampered by the unavailability of Shane Guthrie, who is banned, and Foster has queried the League of Ireland’s procedure on suspending players. Despite fielding without Cian McBrien, Sean Kelly, Dave Cooke, and Jason Molloy, Galway still outfoxed the Saints.
"Shane Guthrie has got a further two-game ban for his sending off here against Shamrock Rovers so he will miss the game and Bray. It is part and parcel of the game at this stage of the season. I got the suspensions through and the list is as long as my arm,” Foster commented.
"I don't agree with the way suspensions are done over here, I don't think four players should be serving suspensions in the same game, not with the way referees issue yellow cards in this country.
"You just don't know when they are going to come. When you get five yellow cards, you should miss the game in seven days’ time; when you get sent off, you should miss the next game.
"I don't think it is rocket science. The FAI need to look at it so you know when players are missing. At the moment I am stuck by the fax machine.”
Iarfhlaith Davoren is ruled out with a hamstring complaint, but if Galway can replicate the urgency shown when slaying the Saints, defeat can be avoided tomorrow. Galway have not drawn in the league since June 5 - some 12 matches ago - and dividing the spoils with Dundalk would be viewed as a satisfactory result.
•Galway United Supporters’ Trust is running a bus to Friday evening’s match against Dundalk at Oriel Park, departing from Fibber Magees, Eyre Square, at 2.30pm. To book a seat contact Ronan 087-6972823. The Galway United Supporters’ Trust LFC take on Oranbay LFC in the Galway and District League Divisional Cup final on Sunday at 4.30pm (Terryland Park ).
Terryland Park will provide the backdrop for a crucial Friday night first division clash as Shelbourne seek to maintain their promotion push.
Pat Hoban’s brace at Gortakeegan was not enough as Monaghan United struck for four against a Mervue defence that had been improving.
Three defeats on the spin ensure Mervue are a tad uncomfortable again, so Johnny Glynn’s charges will be determined to frustrate Shels on the Dyke Road.
By their lofty standards Dermot Keely’s side have endured some difficulty recently, only taking four points from a possible nine so they won’t lack motivation.