Match Preview: Rovers Women host Galway United

Sligo Rovers will go in search of a first Women’s Premier Division point on home turf this season when they welcome Galway Utd to the Showgrounds on Saturday for a 5pm kick-off, writes Conall Collier.

Last weekend the Bit O’Red earned a 3-3 draw away to Treaty Utd and last month enjoyed a 2-0 away win against Cork City.

Galway will go into this encounter on a losing streak after defeats against Peamount, Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne in the last three outings with the previous victory achieved at the beginning of May with a 1-0 home win against Treaty Utd.

The Sligo Rovers players will adopt a confident approach to this encounter buoyed in no small part by the resilience the team displayed against Treaty Utd last weekend with a spirited performance as the sides shared six goals.

There was plenty to admire about the character of the team after the concession of two early goals as they recovered from an interval deficit to earn a vital point.

Two goals from Emma Doherty and one by Jodie Loughrey revived Sligo Rovers and now the focus will be on bringing that type of potency to the Showgrounds for a first home win of the season.

Galway Utd sit in fifth place some 12 points adrift of leaders Peamount Utd and four points behind fourth-placed Bohemian FC.

Last Saturday Galway conceded two goals in two minutes midway through the opening half against Shelbourne and failed to get back into contention.

A worrying statistic for the Galway crew is the lack of goals, an average of one per game has a total of 12 in the credit side, but there is a similar number on the debit side which points to a well-disciplined defence.

Sligo Rovers have scored 10 goals in 11 outings, but the concession of 29 goals reflects the issues that the Bit O’Red face this season with only one cleansheet achieved in that 2-0 away win against Cork City.  

Saturday will mark the return of former Sligo Rovers player Gemma McGuinness to the Showgrounds, the Donegal woman scored the first goal for the club in the inaugural 2022 season, but her focus will be on helping the team she joined this season to pick up three points.

For Sligo Rovers, Lauren Boles could return to the panel after she missed out on the action against Treaty last weekend, but the message from manager Steve Feeney will be to keep it tight and compact at the back and avoid the concession of an early goal.

When the teams met last April at Eamonn Deacy Park, Galway managed a 2-1 victory with goals from Kate Thompson and Jenny Slattery in the opening six minutes. Emma Doherty pulled one back for the Bit O’Red in the second-half, but an equaliser proved elusive.

Both teams will be targeting three points and an action-packed encounter is anticipated ahead of a mid-season break in WPD action until mid-August.

The innovative All-Island Cup is set to start next weekend, Saturday 17th June when Sligo Rovers will host Bohemian FC ahead of away games against Sion Swifts (24th June) and Cliftonville (1st July).