Soundly beaten by Limerick FC last Friday Mervue United will be hoping for a significant improvement when Athlone Town visit Fahy's Field tomorrow evening.
With eight wins registered from 17 matches the midlanders have been one of the success stories of the First Division in 2012 following a couple of disappointing campaigns. Mervue made strides last year, but they have struggled throughout the current season failing to truly recover from an awkward opening in which confidence and hope were drained from the system.
Thirteen losses offers evidence of Mervue's travails and the fact that 36 goals have been conceded, averaging at more than two a game is a real worry. Mervue need to be more resolute if they want to reel third from bottom Finn Harps in, which appears to be the objective now.
Harps, though, are 11 points ahead of Mervue so a string of victories will need to be posted in the coming weeks and months. Despite the problems Mervue will be eager to examine Athlone, but the locals know that they must commence the contest well. Five defeats on the spin doesn't offer Mervue too much encouragement, but if they can frustrate Athlone initially another reversal can be avoided.
Once Sean Brosnan stroked Limerick into the lead Mervue were in deep bother, but Johnny Glynn will trust that Martin Conneely, James Casserly, Mike Elwood, Mark Ludden, Noel Varley, Alan Murphy, Stephen Walsh, and Pat Hoban can make an impact when Athlone visit the west.
Outfoxed in the RSC by an improving Waterford United outfit SD Galway face another tricky away trip to leaders Limerick FC tomorrow.
Pat Scully's charges are beginning to acquire form at a crucial stage in the campaign as their blend of youth and experience easily shrugged off Mervue last Friday. SD Galway are armed with the knowledge that Limerick possess the most accomplished set of footballers in the Division so a determined and hard working performance will be required. James Keane, David Meehan, Cian Fadden, Timmy Molloy, Ronan Conlon, Damien O'Reilly, and Enda Curran will need to contribute
polished performances if SD Galway are to escape from the southwest with any kind of dividend.
Limerick's squad is packed with decent players like Shaun Kelly, Corie Treacy, Pat Purcell, Shane Treacy, Jeffrey Judge, Gary Sheahan, Derek O'Brien, and Rory Gaffney. Combined with those there is the class of Joe Gamble, Denis Behan, and Dominic Foley, who have all been involved at higher levels in the game. A top versus bottom encounter, SD Galway will be anxious to make life difficult for a Limerick side, who intend to be operating in the top flight next March.