A trip to the banks of the Camac can bring delight or disaster. Galway United experienced the former 16 months ago when Derek Glynn notched a double of rare beauty. That was Galway’s prettiest performance in a half dozen years. Can a comparable display be summoned tomorrow?
Something similar will be needed as Galway confront a St Patrick’s Athletic outfit reeling from Friday’s shock reversal to Cobh Ramblers. As results elsewhere added to Galway’s pressure load a sense of satisfaction was taken from the point pocketed in the Showgrounds on Saturday. While Sligo Rovers carved the majority of gilt-edged opportunities United were gritty enough to depart with a dividend.
Inevitably following clever cameos Iarflaith Daveron, Glynn, and Vinny Faherty will be in contention. Jonathan Keane returns following suspension, but Jay O’Shea will be on Republic of Ireland under-21 international duty. With Bray Wanderers in Terryland Park on Friday, too, critical matches are arriving thick and fast for Galway. Alterations will be made by manager Jeff Kenna. “I would think Jonathan Keane has a very good chance of getting back into the side.
“It just seemed the most sensible thing to get the game played and we’ll take it from there.
With Jay missing it gives somebody else an opportunity to come into the team. Johnny (Keane ) has obviously been playing very, very well. He’s really put himself into the team, he’s stayed there and he’s scoring goals and he’s made it very difficult for me to change the team.”
In football suspensions and injuries are almost unavoidable and Daveron, Glynn, and Faherty all brought fresh impetus to Galway’s play in the north west. With O’Shea ruled out a tweak in the system is a high possibility.
Indeed Kenna may well pair Glynn with Faherty as an attacking duo which could lead to problems for a Pat’s outfit that has been vexed by a severe schedule recently. Cobh took maximum advantage of the Saints’ frailties, and it will be a taxing test for Galway. A second consecutive home defeat wouldn’t be gleefully received on the Emmet Road.
Derek O’Brien’s involvement with the Dubliners adds another layer of interest to the tussle, which is of paramount importance to Galway. Almost unnoticed Galway have stitched a six-game unbeaten sequence together which provides encouraging proof that the club can still compete at this level.
Though it is always awkward to plunder a positive result in the Pale surprisingly Pat’s have suffered four League defeats on home terrain. In the third match of the season a Mark Quigley goal separated the teams in a tight contest, while Galway delivered a dynamic display in a 2-2 thriller at the end of May. Quigley rifled a brace of smooth opportunism and will need to be policed diligently, but the Galway defence has improved since Alan Keane’s shift into the centre offered an injection of pace.
In the centre of the park Galway will need John Lester and Ciaran Foley to chalk up the tackles to disturb Keith Fahey’s shrewd passing style, but even without O’Shea Galway possess a tidy distributor in John Russell, who contributed handsomely in Sligo. Russell covered the ground industriously while also probing for openings.
Galway’s only significant threats were Russell and O’Shea until Kenna correctly introduced Glynn and Faherty, who demonstrated the requisite zest. That Faherty and Glynn combined for the penalty was laudable, as was O’Shea’s deft conversion. There is no disputing that O’Shea’s dashes will be missed, but Galway still travel to Inchicore in reasonable fettle. Providing they are secure early, maintaining the unbeaten streak is within United’s remit.