Mervue United's interesting FAI Cup adventure continues tomorrow evening at the Brandywell with a quarter-final clash against Derry City.
Though Mervue have encountered plenty of painful moments during a demanding Airtricity League first division campaign, they have been efficient in the cup, posting away wins over SD Galway and Waterford United to reach the last eight.
The stylish manner in which Mervue cruised to a convincing success over Waterford in the RSC offered further evidence that they can threaten when in the mood. Derry will represent a significant step up in class, but the Candystripes have been vexed by injuries and suspensions lately so their form in the top flight has been patchy.
Still the resolve Derry demonstrated when defeating UCD in the last round of the cup was notable because the students have improved considerably in the last two months. Declan Devine's side were full value for that triumph, though, and they will be extremely anxious to claim a place in the penultimate stage.
With both semi-finals to be televised live on Sunday October 7 Mervue will be especially intent on summoning a defiant and dynamic display in the north west.
Johnny Glynn has aided the development of several young footballers, who have provided glimpses of their ability in the past couple of seasons at League of Ireland level. Unfortunately in this campaign they have not attained the same consistency as last season as the departure of several key players had an impact. However any side featuring Jason Molloy and Pat Hoban has a drop of attacking flair and how they perform will be crucial.
Jean Biansumba's pace has given Mervue another dimension to their play and Glynn will trust that Molloy and Hoban's vision can craft opportunities.
Last Friday Limerick FC punished Mervue lapses in concentration as the promotion chasers eventually emerged 4-0 victors at Jackman Park. That was a reminder of why Mervue must start well in Derry and Glynn will be stressing the need to be safe and solid initially. Mike Elwood, Michael McSweeney, Gary Kelly, Stephen Walsh, and Tom King's energy will be vital because Derry's squad is stocked with talented players.
Mervue will make the long trip north quietly confident they can remain in the cup - forcing a Fahy's Field replay would represent a decent achievement.