With the second round of League of Ireland fixtures down, several teams are already beginning to hit their stride.
The Premier Division title challengers have hit the ground running (and being joined at the top by the newly-promoted sides), while some of the old guard have some serious work to do.
There were pitch inspections, floodlight failures and late goals aplenty in the latest weekend of action.
Stephen Bradley’s side badly needed the win against Bohemians on Friday night to kickstart their season, and they duly earned a 2-1 victory. Despite enjoying the better second half in Tallaght on Friday night they made it harder for themselves than it really needed to be, conceding a stoppage-time penalty to give Bohs hope where there should have been none.
It may have taken a second goal to remove most of the nerves, but once Ryan Delaney’s header hit the back of the net then there was only going to be one winner. 4-0 the eventual scoreline and while Galway United are a better side than that scoreline than that result would suggest, City in this sort of form are simply ruthless.
Saturday night in the Showgrounds, four goals to add to take Sligo Rovers apart, a debut strike from Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleneney turns in another fine performance. The Dundalk train keeps chugging away.
Two wins from two, continuation the end of last season’s form, Gary McCabe has hit the ground running – things are looking pretty good for Harry Kenny and his side. A hugely entertaining 5-3 win against Finn Harps at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday (with two goals and two assists from McCabe) and with their next three games coming against Bohs, Drogheda and Sligo, confidence should be starting to build.
Drogheda made it two wins from two on Friday with a well-deserved 2-0 victory against St. Patricks Athletic. Jake Hyland was in flying form throughout as Pete Mahon’s side collected maximum points for the second match running.
Going 4-0 up in the first 30 minutes usually enables a side to relax for the remaining 60, and so it proved at the UCD Bowl as the Students enjoyed a comfortable evening on Friday.
Fightback or not, Bohemians are in serious trouble. Their lack of squad depth was laid bare against Shamrock Rovers on Friday as Keith Long’s side struggled in the absence of Ismahil Akinade and mid-game injuries to Daniels Byrne and Corcoran. Although they only lost 2-1 in the end that scoreline flattered them somewhat, and securing some points next week’s clash with Bray has just become that bit more important.
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Outfought and outhought for the second game running, Liam Buckley might not have been overly impressed with Bray last week but even he had to accept that Drogheda controlled his side throughout. The losses of Sean Hoare and Jamie McGrath are being felt, and if Buckley isn’t careful it could be a long season.
Antother side that could do with waking up quickly. A 4-0 defeat to Dundalk in isolation isn’t necessarily a reason to be alarmed, but coming so soon after the 5-1 thrashing by Limerick last week and it becomes an issue. Still more likely than not to climb the table in the near future, but a win against St Pats is vital next Friday is vital before they travel to Turners Cross three days later.
The Floodlights at Maginn Park
Another week, another power failure. However, where Athlone Town were able to rectify their own problem, Derry City were forced to abandon their match against Limerick at their temporary home, with the scores level at 1-1.
4-0 down after half an hour, a man down after an hour. A horrific day at the office for Owen Heary, all things considered.