United head to Limerick with growing confidence

Galway United's Ronan Murray has a shot at goal against St Pats in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United's Ronan Murray has a shot at goal against St Pats in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Another important SSE Airtricity League premier division fixture is scheduled for tomorrow evening when Galway United travel to the Markets Field to face Limerick FC.

United, yet to claim a victory in the league, enjoyed an encouraging 2-0 EA Sports Cup win against Derry City at Eamonn Deacy Park on Monday.

Goals from Kevin Devaney and Vinny Faherty in each half sealed United's passage into the quarter-finals of the competition. That arrived following Friday's top flight stalemate as United finished strongly to divide the spoils 1-1 with St Patrick's Athletic.

Trailing to a Rory Feely goal, United were boosted by the introduction of Gavan Holohan and Devaney. In the last minute Holohan was fouled in the area with Ronan Murray confidently scoring the resultant penalty.

Manager Shane Keegan believes United are now gaining in confidence and are beginning to move in the right direction.

He was particularly pleased with three of last year's U19 squad - Aaron Conway, Robert Spellman, and Gary Kineen.

“It sets it up well. For all the pressure and talk of us not being fantastic, that’s one defeat in our last six competitive games," Keegan said following the triumph over the Candystripes. "That’s decent going.

“There is strength in depth because players are returning. I think a couple of supporters might now say Conway could actually start, as well Gary Kinneen and Robert Spelman. They all did well.”

Keegan was also an interested spectator at the Markets Field last Saturday when Limerick proved far too strong for Drogheda United.

“I was in Limerick on Saturday, Drogheda weren’t great, but Limerick were excellent," Keegan says. "It’s going to be a tough game, but we won’t be short on confidence and a bit of belief.

"That’s not the only positive from the Derry match, we’re in the last eight of a competition we would absolutely love to win."

Satisfied that United overcame Derry, Keegan is hopeful his young squad can continue to develop.

“That was the polar opposite to every game we’ve played this year," was Keegan's assessment. “I think we’ve been better in at least four of our league performances. We played well and we didn't get the result, but here we got a result without playing well. We rode our luck, they missed a couple of decent chances, but we’ll take that. If we can play poorly at times and somehow get a win, that’s exactly the type of game we need in the league at the moment.

"We said there were six positives. We got game time into Kevin Devaney and Gavan Holohan on their way back from injury. We had three young players making their first competitive starts, who I thought all did well to varying and different degrees. We had Vinny Faherty on the scoresheet. We were able to rest some key players who had played almost every minute of every game and still get through to the next round.

"We’ve also built momentum going into Limerick on Friday night and we’re into the quarter final of a competition we would like to win. So there are positives galore.”

•Galway Soccer Co-op is holding a general knowledge table quiz this evening at The Dail Bar, Middle Street, Galway (8.30pm ). The entry fee is €40 per table of four, prizes include Republic of Ireland match tickets.


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