Having pinched an encouraging 1- 0 victory over Drogheda, Sean Connor’s Galway United face another demanding away encounter in Inchicore tomorrow evening.
St Patrick’s Athletic have been efficient since defeating Galway on the opening night of the season and Pete Mahon’s well-organised side will be eager to register a third success of the campaign over the Tribesmen.
However there was enough determination in Galway’s display on the banks of the Boyne to suggest some sort of dividend can be taken in the capital. Galway were not too polished, but there was a streak of defiance that augurs well.
"We were delighted to get the points because before the game I said it was a real six pointer,” said manager Sean Connor. “ We now have a nine-point gap instead of a three-point gap over Drogheda, so it will be difficult for them to put three wins back-to-back.
“We are unlikely to lose three games so it is important we look ahead by trying to claw back the likes of Sligo Rovers and UCD. It was great to get three points and get that game out of the way.
“Overall it wasn't too pretty. I thought we started well in the first half, and faded badly after that, so we were hanging on towards the end. Jamie McKenzie, Rhys Meynell, and Barry Ryan did their jobs.
"We looked ring rusty but we kind of expected that, but maybe next time we will play an 11-a-side game just as preparation before we come back.
"To be honest I felt that most of their chances in the second half came from long balls into the box which we expected. For 20 minutes we were in control, but I feel we are a better team than we showed. We didn't dominate the second half as much as the first by passing it through Stephen O’Donnell and getting the ball wide.”
Injuries and suspensions have disrupted Galway over the past couple of months, but the return of Derek O’Brien offers another option, and Connor was delighted the Tralee native featured at Hunky Dorys Park.
"It was good to get Derek O'Brien back on the park and it was always part of the plan. He didn't get as much of the ball as we would have liked, but it will take some time for him to get back into it.
"I feel that the players are getting tight together as a bunch and the belief system in the squad is there. They are buying into what we are doing. The win in Drogheda was purely because of the belief system and maybe we wouldn't have done that at the start of the season.”
Now Galway have an opportunity to disturb the Saints, and with Bray Wanderers coming to Terryland Park on Monday, points can be added to the account.
Before the Drogheda fixture Connor spoke about starting the second phase of the campaign with fire and determination. There might have been a shortage of craft when beating Drogheda, but there was plenty of character, and a morale-boosting win followed.
Connor will be seeking such spirit over the next four days as an improving Galway outfit seek to climb the table.
•Galway United Supporters’ Trust will be running a bus to Friday evening’s match against St Patricks Athletic at Richmond Park, departing from the Marriott Hotel, Headford Road, at 4.30pm. Seats can be booked by ringing Ronan Coleman. David Crimmins, Athenry, was the winner of the GUST World Cup Forecast. He will be presented with his prize at Monday evening’s match against Bray Wanderers at Terryland Park (KO 7.45pm ). Tickets for the Liverpool friendly on Monday August 9 will be on sale this Saturday, upstairs in Elverys Sports, Galway Retail Park, Headford Road (9.30am to 3pm ). Tickets are also on sale from the Galway United office 091-767336, Ronan Coleman at 087- 6972823, Tommy Shields 087-2930738, from Ticketmaster outlets, and on-line at www.ticketmaster.ie Tickets for the GUST Aviva Stadium draw will also be on sale from Elverys on Saturday. Tickets cost €5 - the prize for the first draw is two tickets for the friendly against Argentina on Wednesday August 11.