United prepare to topple champions

Another demanding SSE Airtricity League Premier Division encounter awaits Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow when the Tribesmen host champions Dundalk, kick off 8pm.

"Disappointed" to draw with Longford Town at City Calling Stadium last Saturday manager Tommy Dunne will be hoping for an improved performance against the Lilywhites, who were in UEFA Champions League qualifiers action on Tuesday against BATE Borisov.

That clash culminated in a famous win for Dundalk, who prevailed by three goals to earn a 3-1 aggregate success. With Galwegians Stephen O’Donnell and Daryl Horgan involved there is a western angle to the remarkable Dundalk success story. Stephen Kenny’s accomplished side know that one more victory in European competition will edge them into the lucrative group stages.

A goal from Paul Sinnott, one of United's most consistent performers this season, rescued a point from the trip to the midlands.

Considering Longford's lowly status and the fact that they have only won once in 21 top flight matches, it was a frustrating evening for the visitors.

“I was disappointed when you consider the chances we had late on in the second half,” was Dunne's verdict following a reasonable second period.

“It took us too long to get going. When we conceded the goal, it was like a switch went on and we decided to kick in and get going.

“Overall, it just feels like it’s two points dropped again.”

The fact that United have failed to beat a Longford outfit, who are miserably low on confidence twice this season is worrying.

“Longford are fighting for their lives, the first time we played them, we were in the lead and we should have seen it out," Dunne reflected. "This game, in the first half we didn’t perform.

“They outworked us in the first half. In the second, we got back in the game and created a lot of chances to win it, but we didn’t take them.

“I think it was down to Longford’s desire to stop us from playing and it worked for them, because the two players they had up-front were quick, you’ve to work harder and be quicker with your play. We weren’t as fluent as we were last week against Wexford, but in saying that, we were still able to dig out four or five chances and we should have won it. You’ve got to take your chances.”

A televised fixture against Dundalk offers the United squad an ideal opportunity to respond. Dunne is hopeful that the influential Stephen Folan and Gary Shanahan will recover after suffering injuries in the Longford clash.

“Friday’s game against Dundalk is on the box, we’ll look to improve for that and it won’t require much motivation. Games like Longford are the ones that our season will be determined on. There was an opportunity against Longford, and this is the second time we’ve let it slip.

“Unfortunately Stephen Folan has to get stitches in his knee, we’ll have to assess him. There might be a bit of ligament damage, we’re hoping he will be OK. Gary Shanahan got a belt off Conor Powell, it’s bruising, so we’ll get him in the sea and do some rehab with him. We’re hoping that both players will be there or thereabouts for the Dundalk game.”


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