Galway United will be hoping to close the gap at the top of the First Division table when they host Treaty United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Tribesmen are eight points behind Shelbourne currently with six games left to play and time is running out for John Caulfield’s men if they want to make a serious attempt at the First Division title this season.
United head into Friday night off the back of an important victory over Cabinteely last Friday night at Stradbrook with Mikie Rowe netting the only goal of the game to give the boys in maroon the three points.
With 1,800 fans allowed into Deacy Park for the first time this season this could be a bumper occasion for the home side as the welcome a strong Treaty Untied side with a lot of former Galway United talent in their squad to the banks of the Corrib.
“Treaty are very strong defensively and the last two games have been very tight between the teams,” Caulfield told the club’s media team.
“They have a strong side who are good in the air and they defend really well; they don’t give away many goals. We are hoping to see a massive crowd on Friday night with the capacity being increased which should create a cracking atmosphere.
“Every week you have to be ready for the next match, anyone can beat anyone in this league. Hopefully we can kick on again this week against Treaty.”
In team news, Luke Dennison will presumably deputise for the suspended Conor Kearns after the goalkeeper was given a straight red for a challenge during last week’s game against Cabinteely. Dennison came into the game and saved the resulting penalty from that incident and the Galway faithful will be hoping that the shot stopper is full of confidence for Friday night.
Injury-wise it’s much the same for Galway with Ronan Manning, Francely Lomboto and Carlton Ubaezuonu all sidelined still, although there has been some positive news on that front with Lomboto returning to light training this past week after a long lay off due to a broken leg.
Finally, after seven years at the club Christopher Horgan has departed the Tribesmen to continue his studies in Belgium. Horgan made 47 appearances for the Tribesmen, and he becomes the last of his family to depart the club with brothers Colm and Kevin having previously lined out for Galway too.
There wouldn’t have been many commentators that would have expected Treaty to have the great start that they experienced in their first season in League of Ireland football.
Less still would have expected the Limerick side to maintain that level of performance to be within a shout of promotion at this stage of the season.
Here they are however, just two points off second place in the First Division and with a string of great results and performances under their belt so far this season.
After three games without a win, Tommy Barrett’s men secured an important result at home last Friday night when they defeated Cobh Ramblers 3-0.
Sean McSweeney, Anthony O’Donnell and William Armshaw were all on target for the Limerick side and they will be looking for more of the same this week when they face Galway.
If they can secure a win on Friday, they could move past the Tribesmen and into second place and they will fancy their chances having ran Galway close in their two previous meetings this season.
The Limerick side drew 1-1 with Galway at Deacy Park earlier this season and they were just narrowly beaten 1-0 by the Tribesmen at markets Field in June.
There’s certainly plenty of fight in this side, so expect a tough battle on the Dyke Road on Friday night.
Referee: Kevin O’Sulllivan
Galway and Treaty have met each other twice this season already with the Tribesmen coming out on top at Markets Field, the side drew 1-1 during their first meeting at Eamonn Deacy Park earlier this season.
The Tribesmen are eight points behind First Division leaders Shelbourne currently.
Treaty Untied could leapfrog Galway into second place if they can secure the three points on the Dyke Road on Friday night.
Galway United 1/2; Draw 14/5; Treaty United 4/1.
Galway United 1–1 Treaty United
Injured: Francely Lomboto, Carlton Ubaezuonu, Ronan Manning.
Suspended: Conor Kearns.