Galway United's relegation battle continues continues at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (7.45pm ) when they host Limerick FC in the SSE Airtricity League premier division.
It promises to be a revealing game for United, who produced a spirited display to steal a 2-1 win against Sligo Rovers at the same venue last Friday. Inspired by several remarkable Conor Winn saves, United survived some difficult moments before Enda Curran pounced, scoring two opportunistic goals. Curran's sharp finishing ensured United had something to protect in the closing stages as Sligo launched an inevitable rally.
Dinny Corcoran did narrow the gap late on, but with Winn outstanding, Galway claimed the spoils. Limerick FC are next on the agenda, and manager Tommy Dunne expects a tough encounter.
“We have Limerick now, another team that are in form,” Dunne says. “We are at home, so we have to make sure we are hungry, and that we go after the game.”
When Jake Keegan's splendid hat-trick guided Galway to a July Market's Field victory over Limerick, the Tribesmen edged 17 points clear of the Munster side. Since that clash Limerick have improved dramatically, and now only six points divide the teams. It means the Dyke Road tussle is crucial with so many clubs striving to avoid the drop.
“We are going into four matches, and there will be twists and turns,” Dunne says. “There will be surprise results in places you mightn’t think you’d get them. We have to be fighting right until the death for the last four. Wherever we pick the points up it doesn’t matter. I think we will need to pick up at least five points to give ourselves a real chance to be in the premier division next year.”
Dunne was delighted with Galway's grit in the Sligo triumph, highlighting Winn's sterling contribution. “I think it was a big three points, but I wouldn’t say it is a defining point in the season. There is a lot of football still to be played. We dug extremely deep, we got the rub of the green. Our goalkeeper was outstanding, but you need that.
“Conor was overworked in the game, but he stood up to the task, he was fantastic. Overall he had a tremendous game. Over a period of time he probably wasn’t doing the right things, but now he is, and he is getting rewarded for his work rate. For us at this stage of the season, it doesn’t matter how you get them, as long as you get the three points.”
Defenders Colm Horgan, Samuel Oji, Kilian Cantwell, and Marc Ludden were all prominent when United beat the Bit O'Red.
“At the back we had our hands full. The likes of Nielsen and Corcoran are physically so big, they had a lot of movement. To get over the line at the end was a fantastic feeling. It will give the lads the bit of confidence they need because they have found it tough over the last number of weeks.
“I’m proud of the players. I thought we had a threat, and it is hugely important that we have that we showed we can dig deep. We are prepared to put our bodies on the line to get over