Despite suffering three defeats in a row, Salthill Devon have been slightly unfortunate in those games and they will travel to Ballybofey for a clash with Finn Harps tomorrow intent on avoiding another loss.
An extra-time reversal in the EA Sports Cup against premier division highflyers Derry City, a fixture in which Salthill led twice, has been followed by league setbacks at Gortakeegan when Monaghan beat a 10-man Devon, while a freak goal at Drom on Saturday evening ensured Waterford United took all the spoils.
Yet there have been encouraging signs for Emlyn Long and Mike Quirke’s side as the youngsters introduced to action at this level recently continue to impress. The performances of Bernard Power, Cian Fadden, Ronan Conlon, Luke McConnell, and Etanda Nkololo suggests Salthill’s depth is improving.
Harps, nudged out of the EA Sports Cup by Mervue United, have been slightly disappointing in the opening month of the season, only registering two draws in their first three encounters so they will be particularly eager tomorrow. Still, in their two collisions with Monaghan United and Limerick FC thus far at Finn Park, they have drawn both - scoring and conceding four goals in the process so Salthill should be able to manufacture chances. With ex-Sligo Rovers anchorman Conor O’Grady and the prolific Kevin McHugh providing a wealth of League of Ireland experience, Salthill can expect a difficult evening in the north west, and they know a good start is imperative.
Galway’s other first division representatives Mervue United are not in action this weekend, but they can reflect on a hugely satisfactory success over Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park in a match stuffed with goals and drama.
Eventually emerging 5-3 victors, Mervue started well but allowed Wexford back into contention before finishing with a flourish to claim a triumph that moves Johnny Glynn’s charges into a comfortable midtable position.
The arrival of former Galway United players Tom King and Jason Molloy has certainly aided Mervue’s cause and they went on the rampage in Wexford, assisting the able Rory Gaffney during a fluid attacking display.
Glynn’s graft ensures his players are always prepared to meet challenges and the next three tussles with Limerick FC, Athlone Town, and Monaghan United will be revealing as Mervue seek to maintain their interesting rate of progress and development.