Struggling SD Galway face flawless Longford

Mervue United's Kenny Farrell and Athlone Town's Noel McGee in action during the division one fixture at Fahy’s Field. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy.

Mervue United's Kenny Farrell and Athlone Town's Noel McGee in action during the division one fixture at Fahy’s Field. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy.

Though the season is only four weeks old, the Airtricity League first division table currently has a worrying look to it for the two Galway representatives.

Tomorrow evening at Terryland Park, SD Galway FC, who, having earned one point from four games, are second from bottom, face Longford Town, who have made a flawless start to the campaign.

Longford have been resourceful so far during the first month of action and Salthill will need to be solid at the back if they are to take anything from the encounter.

Limerick FC were never in any trouble against SD Galway, who fell behind to an eighth minute goal from former Mervue United attacker Rory Gaffney. Shane Tracy and Dominic Foley added two further goals and though SD Galway battled earnestly they lacked Limerick's class and ability in the final third.

Considering Limerick's depth, SD Galway's youngsters will have benefitted from the 90 minutes spent in the company of some of the division's most accomplished footballers.

SD Galway are trying to compete with a mixture of youth and experience with Cian Fadden, Colm Horgan, and Timmy Molloy all promising. Eric Browne, Nicky Curran, Mixie Harty, and Mike Tierney supply the guidance and they will all need to be in top form when Tony Cousins' improving Longford hit the Dyke Road venue.

Des Hope's set piece threat will be well documented to the SD Galway squad following his two goals in Longford's 3-2 success over Waterford United. Alan Kirby offers the skill and subtlety in midfield, while Mark Salmon, Karl Bermingham, and Daniel Purdy have also contributed to Longford's smashing start to 2012.

A significant SD Galway display is required if they are to terminate Longford's winning streak.

Mervue United

Having shown signs of improvement in recent weeks Mervue United will feel they can finally register some points from their collision with Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.

Unlucky to lose to Athlone Town at Fahy's Field last Friday, Mervue were equally unfortunate to depart the EA Sports Cup on Monday at Tolka Park following a gritty second period display against Shelbourne.

Johnny Glynn's team was not at full strength either in Drumcondra, but they could have nicked a late equaliser to really disturb top-flight Shelbourne. Still Mervue will be alarmed at their failure to make an impact in the bread and butter of the league.

Wexford Youths have taken seven points out of 12, so it will be far from easy for Mervue in the southeast. Ferrycarrig, though, is a ground on which Mervue have blossomed before and Glynn will be hoping his players can summon a purposeful performance. Ronan Forde, Stephen Walsh, Gary Kelly, Jason Molloy, and Etanda Nkololo have been effective for Mervue, who will be quietly confident about causing a mild surprise in Wexford.

• Galway United take on FC Carlow in their final match of the Airtricity u-19 League this Sunday, April 1, at East United FC, Castle Park. Kick off is 2pm.


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