Following four defeats on the spin in all competitions, Mervue United will be especially eager to deliver a home Airtricity League first division victory when Cobh Ramblers visit Fahy's Field on Saturday afternoon (4.30pm kick off ).
A disappointing FAI Cup defeat to Bray Wanderers was the latest loss for Mervue, who have endured some tricky fixtures lately. Fortune has not favoured Johnny Glynn's charges recently so the upcoming clash with Cobh Ramblers carries significant importance.
Enterprising and efficient in the early weeks of the campaign, Mervue have slipped into fourth position in the table and are currently nine points behind pacesetters Longford Town. However Cobh Ramblers' away form will give Mervue cause for optimism because the Munster side has yet to nick a win on the road.
From their six matches out of St Colman's Park, Cobh have only managed three draws so Mervue will be keen to add another defeat to that list.
While Jason Byrne gave Mervue a lesson in clinical finishing in the opening half, Mervue did improve slightly as that game wore on with Michael McSweeney, Gary Kelly, and Brendan Lavelle prominent, but a return to the dynamism levels of March and April will be necessary.
Despite their patchy form in the league, Cobh have the ability to manufacture and convert chances, so Mervue need to be organised and compact from the outset. Glynn will demand a reduction in the lapses of concentration that were exploited by Bray and Sligo Rovers in the EA Sports Cup.
Though Salthill delivered a plucky display against Shamrock Rovers, they also exited the Blue Ribband on Friday as Billy Dennehy climbed off the bench to net two opportunistic goals.
Salthill had frustrated the Hoops until Dennehy's introduction with Cian Fadden and Brian Geraghty solid at the back. Willie Enubele was impressive in the centre of the park, while Enda Curran underlined his promise with another assured contribution. Indeed Curran was most unfortunate that a blistering first-half 30-yard free kick smashed off the woodwork. A goal at that stage for Salthill could have turned it into an uncomfortable night for Rovers at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Still the Hoops just had that extra bit of class and that is why Trevor Croly's Rovers advanced to the last 16. Having won in Cobh and shown signs of improvement during the past fortnight, Salthill will be keen to pinch a positive result.