Going down to Galway on Monday we all expected a big response after Fridays debacle and with the majority of Fridays team rested it was a chance for fringe players to force themselves into the managers thoughts with a good performance again Division 1’s bottom team SD Galway.
The game started in terrible conditions and it was a strange day of weather on the West coast. 150 or so Hoops made the journey and for those who couldn’t make it they didn’t miss much!! We needed two penalties to score against a team of journeymen and kids, most of whom wouldn’t even get in a Leinster Senior League team never mind a League of Ireland team.
The first penalty was early on when McCabe was fouled and he duly converted from the spot. We played poorly and created little and our bvest chance to extended the lead fell to Gary O’Neill shot straight at the keeper from 6 yards after the keeper had spilled a Killian Brennan free kick. The 2nd penalty was also converted by McCabe after a foul on Kavanagh and it was 2-0 Hoops at the break.
The goals galore we expected in the 2nd half never came and apart from one great passage of play which saw Powell hit the post after a quick counter attack we were poor again. Kavanagh missed a sitter late on when he fired over after finding himself one on one with the SD Galway keeper.
The change back to 4-4-2 didn’t seem to work and Rice and Brennan in centre midfield is a partnership I hope I never see again! In Kavanagh and O’Neill I have never seen two front men who look less likely to score, neither can run in behind and neither ever seem to want to shoot when they get into good areas. Greene and McCabe should have been far more capable of beating full backs in a game of this nature and they were both disappointing. Debutant keeper Reyaad Pieterse had little to do for his clean sheet but had one hairy moment when his attempted clearance was blocked and almost resulted in a goal, the young South African will hardly have an easier day in his career. The only positives on the day were the performances of Gartland and Powell and the return from injury of Conor McCormack. Powell surely needs to start this weekend and Gartland was a rock at the back although he was playing against the most toothless front line in the League of Ireland.
Another win but another frustrating day, surely there is better to come, please god tell me there is!!
Keep on Hooping!