- Thursday February 24th, 2022 @ 14:10
Preview: Saints Vs Sligo (25/02/22)
St Patrick's Athletic face Sligo Rovers on Friday evening in their opening home game of the 2022 season.
After some great nights in 2021, Richmond Park is ready to go for 2022 with a big crowd expected in Inchicore.
The Saints were in flying form as they saw off Shelbourne in fantastic fashion at Tolka Park last Friday in the first game of the season.
Darragh Burns' wonder strike opened the scoring and gave St Pat's a 1-0 lead at the break. Further goals from new signing Mark Doyle and Jay McClelland helped Clancy's side to a 3-0 win over their Dublin rivals.
They will be hoping to continue where they left off on Friday as they welcome Liam Buckley's men to Richmond Park.
Opposition Watch and Previous Meetings
This will be Sligo's first game of the new season.
Their game against Bohemians was fixed for last Saturday evening but it fell victim to Storm Eunice.
The sides are familiar with each other, having met on four occasions in 2021.
Their first meeting in May 2021 saw a dramatic ending when Ian Bermingham's 96th minute header rescued a draw for The Saints after Jordan Gibson had put the Bit O'Red ahead from the penalty spot.
The return fixture at Richmond wasn't as dramatic as St Pat's won 2-0 thanks to a Matty Smith goal and a Ronan Coughlan penalty.
The Saints travelled west again in September and were beaten 2-0 with Johnny Kenny converting a header as well as a Ryan DeVries strike.
Upon the return fixture, it was Liam Buckley's men who took all three points again as goals from Kenny and DeVries as well as a stoppage time goal from Adam McDonnell ensured all three points for Sligo.
View From The Dugout
Manager Tim Clancy was victorious in his first league game as St Pat's and is looking forward to his first league game at Richmond:
"I am looking forward to it. We have had two huge crowds for the two away games we have played so far. I think there was 1,700 in Tallaght for the President's Cup and we had 900 fans at Tolka Park, so I am looking forward to the first game at home in Inchicore on Friday night.
Because of the weather in the west over the last couple of weeks, we missed getting to see Sligo play so you can look at it as a positive that we have had a few competitive games, and they haven't, but it's also a negative that we didn't get to see them play before going out on the pitch against them."
Mark Doyle scored his first competitive goal in last Friday night's derby against Shelbourne.
He beat three defenders before his powerful shot had too much for Shelbourne goalkeeper Lewis Webb.
Mark was on virtual press conference duty this week:
"I think it is always good for attacking players to try and score early on because it takes a little bit of that pressure off, just the pressure you put on yourself to get a goal, you always want one early enough so I am delighted to get one early on.
I missed a big chance in the President's Cup so the first competitive one, it was a nice one to get."
He is also looking forward to making his competitive debut at Richmond for Pat's:
"It's my first time playing with Pat's at Richmond competitively, so I am really looking forward to Friday. Obviously, I've played there as an opponent and it is always a tough place to go, but it is a lovely pitch and a nice stadium to play in.
We have to look at Sligo first and then at the weekend, we will look to the next game. Obviously, with Sligo having not played, it will be a difficult one to see what they are like but Tim and the staff have done their research and they have been looking at the players the brought in so we will have a fair idea going into it. It would be a great start, but that's all it will be because it is a long season."
Team News: Ronan Coughlan and Paddy Barrett are well on the road to recovery and are hoping to be available for selection soon.
Live Stream: If you can't make the game on Friday night, it will be broadcast live on LOITV, with the game costing just 7 Euro to purchase.
Updates: Alternatively, you can catch updates across all of our social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Photo credit: Inpho Sports