As the League of Ireland season drifts towards an interesting conclusion Galway United will be keen to land another Terryland Park victory tomorrow against Bray Wanderers.
Eddie Gormley’s young Bray outfit might be rooted to the bottom of the table, but they certainly possess sufficient ability to examine a Galway team bothered by suspensions. With regular central defensive duo Shane Guthrie and Garry Breen ruled out, United manager Ian Foster will be forced to rejig his starting XI.
Seamus Conneely, who earned a deserved call up to the Republic of Ireland u-21 squad this week, is likely to be partnered by Sean Kelly.
Conneely was one of the few Galway players to produce an adequate 90 minutes at Oriel Park as Dundalk emerged convincing three goal victors, and Foster delivered a typically frank assessment of that encounter.
"I was disappointed with the manner of the defeat more than the defeat. I don't like losing, but I will take it if we work hard and make life difficult for the opposition, but we didn't do it particularly in the second half.
"I had a go at them at half-time for not working hard enough in certain areas of the pitch, but they didn't listen to me.
“Sometimes you have to take a point, get a draw. We have only got four draws this season, and that is the reason why. We don't work hard enough to get a draw, a point is a good result in Oriel Park. We are all over the place trying to win the game, but we should have sat tight and counterattacked teams and we didn't do it. All their good players were miles better than mine.”
All of Galway’s most effective displays have occurred when craft has been married with graft. Toiling diligently is so crucial in the contemporary game, according to Foster.
"I know what the players can do, I know how hard they can work, but they put in a performance like that which is massively disappointing. As individuals they need to work harder and to take more responsibility. They need to know when they are not on top at places like Oriel Park that a point is a good result instead of charging all around the pitch, losing discipline and then getting picked off.”
Bray’s squad is sprinkled with promising young footballers and the visitors will relish the opportunity to exhibit their skill on Terryland’s pristine surface. St Patrick’s Athletic were able to restrict Bray on Tuesday night, and if Galway can defend with conviction, a positive result can be posted.
Though Johnny Glynn’s Mervue United suffered a fourth loss on the spin against Shelbourne, there were plenty of reasons for optimism despite the reversal.
Shelbourne have proven to be efficient operators throughout the campaign, dealing impressively with Mervue’s passion before landing the goals which ensured they still retain leadership of the first division.
Injuries and suspensions in recent weeks have ensured Glynn has been forced to give several youngsters a sample of senior football which will be extremely beneficial for all concerned.
Station Road, a venue in which Mervue has enjoyed stirring successes before, provides the backdrop tomorrow for a tussle with Kildare County, and avoiding defeat would be viewed as a decent achievement by the Galwegians.