Mervue seek response against Wexford Youths after crushing defeat

Pictured right: Salthill Devon’s Dan Cunningham and Waterford United’s Dylan Mernagh in action from the Airtricity League first division game at Drom on Friday night. 
	Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Pictured right: Salthill Devon’s Dan Cunningham and Waterford United’s Dylan Mernagh in action from the Airtricity League first division game at Drom on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Last Saturday's crushing defeat at St Colman's Park put a serious dent in Mervue United's promotion drive, but Johnny Glynn's side will still be intent on taking all three points when Wexford Youths visit Fahy's Field tomorrow.

Now seven points behind table-toppers Athlone Town, Mervue have slipped into fourth position. Waterford United are heavily involved at the business end again, alongside Longford Town.

Cobh Ramblers’ penchant for hosting dramatic encounters continued as Mervue were outfoxed at the Munster venue for the second time this season.

Amazingly 46 goals have been scored in 10 matches at St Colman's Park which confirms Cobh's willingness to attack on home turf. Mervue, though, were beaten 3-2 on this occasion, having already lost 5-3 there in April, so it has been an unpleasant trip south twice.

The fact that Martin Deady's winner for Cobh arrived in injury time added to the bitter feeling for Mervue, who had earlier shown admirable heart and courage to find a way into the reckoning. Trailing by two as Kynan Rocks and Davin O'Neill bagged for Cobh, Mervue craved a response which was spearheaded by talented teenager Ryan Manning.

Despite being under severe pressure, Manning converted two penalties with ice cool conviction. The match was delicately poised late on before Deady earned Cobh a victory that nudged them six points clear of Salthill Devon, who remain rooted to the bottom of the standings.

Tom King, Gary Shanahan, Noel Varley, Jason Molloy, Stephen Walsh, and Manning were effective contributors for Mervue, who will be keen to deny Wexford, who are only one point ahead of Cobh. A gutsy scoreless draw with Longford on Friday has given Wexford a drop of encouragement, so they will hit the west seeking to build on that solid display.

Enda Curran is already making an impact with new club Athlone Town, pinching a vital late goal to steer the midlanders to a success over Finn Harps but his old club Salthill Devon were being soundly defeated by Waterford United at Drom.

Though Dan Cunningham's second-minute goal gave Salthill some optimism, the Blues restored parity when Marco Chindea levelled. Salthill traded well for spells, but after the restart, without Curran leading the line, they lacked the necessary punch in attack.

Philip Drohan, Conor Meade, and Conor Whittle all found the range for Waterford and, with other lowly teams picking up decent results, it was a demoralising weekend for Salthill. Jumbo Brennan's charges make the long trek to Ballybofey for a tough clash with Finn Harps tomorrow. Devon did surprise Harps when the teams collided in Drom last June, but they have been rocked by the departure of several key players including Curran and Derek O'Brien.

There is a particularly youthful cut to the Salthill squad at present, but Robbie Gaul, Cian Fadden, Colm Horgan, and Craig Harding have supplied steady performances recently.

There has been a touch of the erratic about Harps this year as many expected them to be heavily involved near the summit, but consistency has been an issue. Harps have prevailed in five of their 10 matches at Finn Park, so Salthill must be resourceful and resilient if they are to take anything back from the northwest.

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