Play-Off Preview: Galway -v- UCD
- Gareth O'Reilly
- Thu, Oct 30 2014
Eamon Deacy Park is preparing to welcome Premier Division side UCD, for what could be a historic night in Galway FC’s history.
Two goals in the space of two minutes late on in last Monday night’s play-off first leg meant that the Tribesmen snuck away with the win from the UCD Bowl. It was a game in which the Students controlled the first half but in the second period it was the polar opposite as the away side dominated from start to finish.
Despite watching his side benefit from sloppy UCD play late on, Tommy Dunne is under no illusions that in many ways his side will still be up against it. That is because UCD are free from the suspensions that caused a weakened midfield to take to the playing surface of Belfield on Monday night.
“We need to get over the line, it’s going to difficult. We’re at home and I expect us to give everything and hopefully we can perform and not do anything silly.
“Any result wins it for us. It’s just about getting over the line. I think it will a tight game. UCD are a strong team. We’ve played them before and done quite well against them."
With away goals not coming into play in the play offs, UCD know that just one goal will be enough to force extra time. However Dunne is not concerned with UCD’s game plan, instead the former Cork City boss will be focusing his side ahead of the much anticipated clash.
“From our point of view, we hold no fears playing them. UCD had Benson and Creevy in their team earlier in the season when we beat them in the Cup.
“UCD will have ideas of getting the win and getting over line. We have just got to deal with everything they throw at us.
A crowd of nearly 700 showed up at the Bowl on Bank Holiday Monday but Dunne will be hoping that Galway fans will come out in even bigger numbers for the game on Friday in Eamon Deacy Park.
“We’ve got to make sure we deal with the occasion. We hope the supporters will encourage and support the guys and that there’s a really good atmosphere in Eamonn Deacy Park.
“Our hard work over the year has generated this occasion and we want to be going home happy and in the Premier Division. We’re desperate for it, it’s about concentrating and being right on the night.”
The job is simple for Aaron Callaghan’s men, win or be relegated. With 88 minutes on the clock things were looking pretty good for the College in the play-off first leg until two quick late goals changed the entire outlook for this Friday’s encounter.
A strong first half left UCD fans quietly confident that their side would put the game and maybe even the tie beyond doubt in the second half, however such a performance never materialised with Callaghan commenting on his frustration at how things had unfolded late on.
"In the first half I thought we did very well. We got some good possession and created some good chances. However in the second half we gave them far too much space on the ball, and couldn't get our passing going, which result in them keeping coming at us and we couldn't get out.
"We know we will have to be better in the second leg if we are to have a chance, but hopefully having Benson and Creevy back after suspension will help us."
Thankfully from a Student point of view there are no fresh injury concerns with Dean Clarke the only absentee while Aaron Callaghan, Robbie Creevy and Robbie Benson all make a very welcome return from suspension.
Referee: Dave McKeon
Galway are enjoying a fantastic run of form with the last defeat for Tommy Dunne’s men coming way back in the FAI Cup on August 22nd against Premier Division winners Dundalk.
With four out of five defeats for Galway coming at home, this tie is arguably far from over.
Last Monday’s 2-1 defeat was UCD’s fifth time coming out losing on such a score line this season.
Galway FC 8/15; Draw 11/4; UCD 5/1.
Galway 1-2 UCD – the college to win on penalties 9-8!! A game of drama is set for the West of Ireland in my opinion, while UCD at 5-1 must surely be worth a punt for anybody heading to the bookies before Friday night’s encounter.
Injured: Aaron McDonagh (appendix)
Doubtful: Alex Byrne
Injured: Dean Clarke (back)
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