There is rarely a dull moment at Galway United and tomorrow's trip to the Carlisle Grounds for a clash with Bray Wanderers provides an ideal opportunity to end a wretched losing streak that now stands at 20 matches in all competitions.
Despite a committed display against Derry City last Friday evening Galway still lacked class and conviction in the final third as the Candystripes were far too cool and clinical for them at Terryland Park. There were nuggets of hope in Galway's display including the aerial promise of newcomer Laurence Gaughan, the return to form of Paul Sinnott, the diligence of Alan Murphy, and Jin Gu Kim's smashing set plays, but Derry coped.
Galway now face a Bray outfit that has lost six out of seven encounters in the league since defeating Sean Connor's side on June 10. When Galway were outfoxed by Derry a section of the crowd voiced their discontent, but others responded in a positive fashion towards Connor again stressed the need for patience. "I am not trying to be flippant. The fans have every right to be frustrated with the results and nobody is more disappointed with losing than I am. Anybody that I have spoken to who understands the game, the budget, and the way we are working here understands we are getting as much out of what we have as we can," was Connor's verdict.
"We have conceded soft goals, we probably made one or two mistakes earlier on in the season signing one or two players that didn't work out, but you tell me any manager that doesn't sign players that don't work out. When you take into consideration that the squad was assembled in two and a half weeks it was always going to multiply that. I understand people's frustrations, but let's be realistic. The players put in a performance, 400 or so clapped me before the game and at half-time."
Compared to a month ago there is a bit more depth in the Galway squad now as the Koreans Yob Son and Kim appear to be fairly capable footballers. Son's willingness to attack the ball is encouraging, while Kim certainly is blessed with a drop of skill and an ability to whip in menacing crosses from wide areas. Unfortunately Galway were not able to profit from Kim's promptings when Derry were in the west, but the Tribesmen will not be without hope against Pat Devlin's team possessing the usual Bray mix of youth and experience.
So efficient early in the campaign Bray have suffered recently, but they will be bolstered by the return of Derek Prendergast, Chris Shields, David Webster, and Shane O'Neill following suspension. They all missed the disappointing home reversal against Drogheda United so Devlin will be demanding an improvement as Bray will inevitably view Galway as beatable opponents.
Still every sequence in football always comes to an end and considering that Bray are not exactly brimming with confidence either this represents a regal chance to finally pocket some kind of dividend. Crumbs of comfort are required in these distressing times and avoiding another loss would be an achievement as Galway continue preparations for a season defining play-off with whoever finishes third in the First Division.
Galway United will hold a poker classic in the Eglinton Casino, Eglinton Street, this Saturday starting at 8.00pm. Entry fee is €50, with a guaranteed prize fund of €5,000. Tickets are on sale from the club office at Terryland Park, and from David Flaherty at 086-3826443. Galway United will also hold a car boot sale at Terryland Park on Saturday, from 10am to 6pm. For further information, contact the Galway United office at 091-767336, Ronan Coleman at 087-6972823, or e-mail [email protected].
Galway United’s next home match, versus Shamrock Rovers, has been changed to Sunday August 21. Kick- off at Terryland Park is 6.30pm.