St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Drogheda United

  • Fri, Aug 06, 2010 @ 11:57

Concentrating on domestic football after two months of European action and friendly fare may well, at this stage, be a blessing for League of Ireland supporters who could be a touch weary of trying to prove something to a wider public who prefer to sit at home.

The best so far on offer, to the pro-active punter, have been St Patrick’s Athletic and they will look on this tie at Richmond Park as a chance to put three points between themselves and the trailing Shamrock Rovers - who face off against third placed Bohemians on Sunday.

Gary Rogers in particular can look forward to a game where the home crowd will be wishing him the best of luck, instead of the opposite, which was the case in point on Wednesday evening before Manchester United put six past the experienced ’keeper.

It was a thankless task, lining out as he did, behind a team and a defence that were totally outclassed on the night.

Having conceded fifteen league goals this season in 23 games so far, Rogers’ form has helped ’Pats maintain their healthy position since the outset.

Pete Mahon’s side, even allowing for a slight dip in form from here out, should push all the way for a continental berth.

Mahon will have a full squad to choose from save for long term absentee Gareth Coughlan who remains sidelined with a leg injury and the stat should further enhance St Pats’ chances of taking all the points against a side who themselves will be forced to field a depleted unit.

After the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Bray last weekend Drogheda manager Brian Donnelly faces a massive shortage of players for Friday night as Alan McNally, Corrie Treacy, Eric McGill and Paul Crowley are all suspended while Brendan McGill is still out.

Darragh McNamara and Jamie Harris are only back training and unlikely to feature and Glen Fitzpatrick is still a major doubt.

All of which means newly signed Connor Sinnott will be going straight into the squad for Friday night.

St. Pat’s Assistant Manager John Gill is hoping his side can continue their good season and keep the pressure on the other teams around them. “We’ve just come through three very tough games.

Admittedly the result against Boh’s was better than the performance but we showed great character to earn a point at the end.

We haven’t lost to a fulltime side in the league this season which says a lot about the fitness levels of the squad.

Tomorrow night is a chance for us to push on at home and perhaps put a little bit of pressure on Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers but we know from experience how tough Drogheda can be.”

Darius Kerins knows the task in front of his side will be huge but despite defeat last weekend he side dominated parts of the game. “We had a bad day at the office last week, but I looked at the DVD and for 60 minutes we dominated the game and restricted Bray to a few chances.

We just didn’t play well and we know that, but that’s what we work on in training.

“Pats are a very capable team and they are full of experience and were always going to challenge for the title and they could easily be there come the end of the season. “Pete [Mahon] has done a great job with the budget that he has been given and they will give us a tough test.”

Next Fixture

UCD / August 19th @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: UCD Bowl
Team Pld Pts
Shamrock Rovers2452
Derry City2343
St Patricks Athletic2436
Sligo Rovers2332
Bohemian FC2332
Drogheda United2426
Finn Harps2412