Free falling Galway United take on the challenge of in-form Limerick in a potentially epic encounter in the SSE Airtricity First Division at Terryland Park on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Tribesmen will be aiming to end a dreadful recent run of form by bursting The Super Blues bubble when they come to the West. Galway United are in desperate need of a win to boost confidence and get their season back on track.
The Tribesmen were unceremoniously dumped out of the 2nd round of the EA Sports Cup 2-1 by Waterford at the RSC on Monday evening. It was a closely fought game but Galway found themselves behind after 32 minutes when Dean Walsh struck for the home side.
Galway responded well and managed to get on level terms 12 minutes into the 2nd half through Jeff McGowan. However, the Tribesmen’s joy was short-lived as just 9 minutes later they found themselves 2-1 behind with Cory Galvin grabbing the decisive goal despite a gallant effort from Galway to restore parity.
It was the Tribesmen’s 4th consecutive defeat in all competitions having lost 1-0 to Cabinteely at Stradbrook in their last league match. Galway have also been beaten in their last two home games by Drogheda United (0-1) and Bray Wanderers (0-1).
Galway United boss Alan Murphy remains upbeat despite his side’s rotten recent record and feels that the Tribesmen have not been getting the rub of the green telling www.galwayunitedfc.ie, “It’s been a bit up and down since then, but I think we’ve been unlucky at times not to get results. It’s important this weekend that we try and turn that performance into a result.”
Murphy is focusing on the positives from their last outing and is fully aware of the importance of a win to please the Galway faithful, “We had some good performers in Waterford on Monday, that’s what the squad needs. We’re in search of a home win and we need that competition and freshness.”
Galway boss Murphy has a number of injuries to contend with going into tomorrow night’s fixture with Conor Layng (cruciate), Iarfhlaith Davoren (calf), Kevin Horgan (abdominal), Ronan Asgari (calf) and Ivan Gamarra (ankle) all in the treatment room. Andrew Peters has begun light training but is unavailable for selection. Galway have no suspensions for this week.
The Super Blues will make the tough trip to the West of Ireland but will be going into this game buoyed with confidence and belief being the form team in the First Division.
Limerick produced the goods at the Market’s Field last Friday night when they comfortably dispatched Athlone Town 2-0 in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The Super Blues started brightly and were well in control of the game but had to wait more than half an hour before they got the goal which their approach play deserved.
Shane Tracy’s fortunate free-kick took a lucky bounce and eluded everyone to find the roof of the net. Limerick dominated throughout but failed to extend their lead until striker Conor Ellis settled the home fans nerves when he doubled the Super Blues lead and put the game beyond the hapless Athlone Town with three minutes remaining.
It was Limerick’s third league win in a row which has catapulted the men from the Mid-West into serious contention for promotion to the SSE Airtricity Premier Division next season. The Super Blues have also taken the scalps of Cabinteely (1-2) at Stradbrook Park and Cobh Ramblers (3-1) at the Market’s Field.
Limerick have now lost just once in their last five matches in all competitions which was at the hands of Cobh Ramblers who gained revenge for their league defeat by knocking Limerick out of the EA Sports Cup at the first hurdle winning 3-1 at St. Colman’s Park.
Referee: Garvan Taggart
Galway United and Limerick last met each other competitively 4 times in the 2017 season with the first league game ending in a 1-1 draw at the Market’s Field, Galway winning 3-1 at Terryland Park and final league ended in a 2-2 draw at the Market’s Field. Limerick also knocked Galway out of the FAI Cup with a 2-1 win at Terryland Park.
The Tribesmen and the Super Blues have met each other in all competitions on 9 occasions since 2015 with Galway winning 4 times, Limerick winning 3 and 2 draws.
Galway United scored 17 goals in their 9 matches averaging 1.88 goals per game with Limerick scoring 16 goals averaging 1.77 goals per game.
Galway United are in 9th place in the SSE Airtricity First Division on 3 points with 1 win and 4 defeats in their 5 matches.
Limerick are in 3rd place in the SSE Airtricity First Division on 11 points with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat.
Galway United 6/4 Draw 15/8 Limerick 7/4
Galway United 1-1 Limerick
Injured: Conor Layng, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Kevin Horgan, Ronan Asgari, Ivan Gamarra