Salthill expect testing time in local derby

An all-Galway Airtricity League first division derby is scheduled for Drom tomorrow when Salthill Devon host Mervue United.

Contrasting starts to the season mean this latest collision carries implications for two teams who crave the points for different reasons.

Salthill have become accustomed to dealing with life at the bottom of the table over the past few campaigns so they will be keen to disturb a Mervue outfit that is gaining in confidence. From eight matches, Salthill have only registered two draws, losing their other half a dozen matches. While Salthill optimists might suggest some of the performances deserved a better reward, including another loss to Longford last Saturday, the upcoming contest with Mervue will surely focus Devon minds.

Mervue encountered their own difficulties in the closing stages of the stalemate with Athlone Town when a contentious penalty decision allowed the midlanders to avoid defeat. Unsurprisingly Mervue were far from happy with referee Ray Matthews' decision to award a spot kick which was converted by Philly Gorman.

Stephen Walsh's brace edged Mervue 2-1 ahead, but Athlone stayed defiant to deny Johnny Glynn's charges a win. That result now means Mervue trail table-toppers Longford Town by six points, so narrowing that gap is Glynn's current objective.

A trip across town to face Salthill has the potential to be an interesting encounter as Mervue will be seeking to match the strugglers’ enthusiasm. Salthill caused a couple of surprises in the fixtures with Mervue last year so the visitors are certainly forewarned.

Gary Curran's reliability in the centre of the park has been a notable addition for Mervue in the opening two months of action in 2013, while youngster Ryan Manning continues to impress. Elsewhere Michael McSweeney, Walsh, Mark Ludden, Noel Varley, and Jason Molloy have been solid contributors for Mervue.

Injuries have been a constant disruption for Salthill, but they produced a passionate performance despite ultimately suffering a reversal against Longford. Finn Harps and Waterford United also triumphed over Salthill by only a single goal during the past fortnight too so Salthill have been competitive, but positive results rather than plaudits arew what they desperately want now.

Craig Harding found the range in the Longford clash, while Salthill will be hoping Cian Fadden, Jamie McGlynn, Mixie Harty, Derek O'Brien, and Jean Biansumba can make an impact when Mervue visit Drom.

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