(Credit: Steve Alfred)

League Preview: Galway United -v- Shamrock Rovers
Published: March 12, 2017

GALWAY UNITED

The Tribesmen come into Monday’s visit of Shamrock Rovers to Eamon Deacy Park (kick off 7pm) on the back of earning their first point of the season last Friday night. Away to Finn Harps, United came from behind to draw 1-1. Having lost their opening two games – a loss at home to Drogheda and a heavy away defeat to Cork – it was vital for Shane Keegan’s men to get something from the game in Finn Park.

 

Every team in the top division now has at least a point going into the fourth round of games. The Tribesman earned that point thanks to an early second half equaliser from Kevin Devaney (who is a doubt for the game against Rovers).

 

United boss Shane Keegan felt they probably left two points behind them in Donegal. “It’s mixed emotions,” said Keegan about the game when speaking to www.galwayunitedfc.ie. “I was so, so happy with the second half performance.

 

“You’re looking back at the fact that you dominated and hit the woodwork so many times [three times in total] and we’re wondering how we didn’t come away with three points, that’s the frustrating part.

 

“We played with two up top in the first half, it was working quite well, we probably just about edged the first half, even though we were 1-0 down.

 

“The fact that their two full backs were staying back quite a lot made us think it might be an opportunity to go with three up top and that’s essentially what we did in the second half. We really wanted to have a go at them. We created chance after chance.

 

“The dressing room is frustrated, they are trying to figure out how they didn’t get three points. The one thing little thing we have a concern about is having worked as hard as we did tonight on a pitch that was lets be honest heavy. It took a lot out of our legs.

 

“It’s going to take a serious effort to put in another big performance in such a short turnaround time. I think that performance tonight will give them confidence going into the Shamrock Rovers game on Monday night.

 

"They're a side with a lot of quality. We will have spells without the ball, we will need to put in a lot of work and effort."

 

 

SHAMROCK ROVERS  

It was a disappointing night on Friday against Derry City in Tallaght, when the Hoops came out the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline. Rovers conceded a 67th minute goal to Derry from a corner kick. Despite playing against ten men for over a half an hour at the end of the game, they couldn’t break the resolute Derry defence down. 

 

Speaking to extratime.ie after the game, Hoops boss Stephen Bradley felt there wasn’t much between the teams but admitted his side didn’t really do enough to win the match.

 

“There was nothing in the game,” said Bradley. “We were flat, they were flat; we didn't create, they didn't create. We're disappointed to lose it on a set play.

 

“We had a little spell in the first half and obviously the last 20 minutes we piled the pressure on, but we didn't do enough in terms of creating chances.

 

“This is a new team, a new squad, and it's going to take time. They'll be fine. I know we've good characters in there. They're disappointed. We didn't do enough to win the game, but we shouldn't have lost it either. With the characters we have we'll bounce back.”

 

Last season the Hoops won all three encounters between the teams – two in Tallaght (2-0 and 4-2) and once in Galway (1-0). The latter two matches took place September due to one of the fixtures being postponed due to Rovers’ European commitments.

 

Ryan Connolly, who made the switch from Galway to Rovers in the off-season, scored twice for United in Tallaght the last time the teams met. The Hoops were lucky to get a way with a win when they last met in Eamon Deacy Park. Gary Shaw scored the winner but the Tribesmen rattled the Rovers crossbar in injury time.

 

Trevor Clarke picked up a shoulder injury after an awkward fall in the first half against Derry and was replaced at half time so he is a doubt for the game. Graham Burke sits out one more game due to suspension following his red card on the opening night of the season.

 

Referee: Robert Hennessy.

 

 

MATCH STATS

As well as signing Galway United’s captain from last year Ryan Connolly, Shamrock Rovers also brought in their young goalkeeper Kevin Horgan over the winter. Horgan made three league appearances for the Tribesmen last season. His league debut was against Rovers in the 2-0 win for the Hoops in Tallaght last April.

 

Galway have lost the last seven competitive games between the teams with Rovers unbeaten in the last quarter century of matches when these clubs have gone head to head – 24 of those games came in the league encounters.

 

United boss Shane Keegan has at least one recent win over the Hoops. Last season, when he was in charge of Wexford Youths his team beat Rovers 2-0 at Ferrycarrig Park in May. His team lost the two other matches in Tallaght 2-0 and 3-1.

 

  

BETTING

Galway United 16/5; Draw 5/2; Shamrock Rovers 5/6.

  

PREDICTION

1-0 away win

 

 

Galway United

Injured: Paul Sinnott (ankle).

Doubtful: Kevin Devaney, Conor Melody.

Suspended: None.

 

 

Shamrock Rovers  

Injured: None.

Doubtful: Trevor Clarke (shoulder).

Suspended: Graham Burke.


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Macdara Ferris

Macdara Ferris is a contributor since 2007 to Hoops Scene (Shamrock Rovers' match day programme) and the co-author of Tallaght Time: Shamrock Rovers 2009 to 2012. He still believes that one day he will see Rovers win the FAI Cup. The first international game he attended was Luxembourg being dispatched 2-1 at Lansdowne Road by Jack Charlton's Ireland team.

He has been a writer with extratime.ie since 2012 covering the League of Ireland, the Irish National team and a few Champions League finals. He has also been known to pop up in far flung places like Ballybofey, Belfast, Berlin and Brazil to report for extratime.

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