- Sunday September 24th, 2023 @ 15:48
Match Preview: Saints V Drogheda (25/09/2023)
The Saints return to Richmond Park for the second time in four days as they look to follow up on the win against Dundalk with a game against another Louth side - Drogheda United.
Kick-off on Monday is at 7.45pm in Inchicore.
At the time of writing, there are still a limited number of home tickets available for the game here.
We're heading for a capacity home ground, as has been the case all season, so buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
The match will be broadcasted on LOITV for those unable to attend the game.
St Pat's come into this game off the back of an impressive performance that saw them beat Dundalk 3-1 on Friday, the first home game for Jon Daly's side in 42 days.
After a closely contested first-half, it was Tommy Lonergan who struck first for his side just after the break. Club captain Joe Redmond, on the edge of his own box, played a pinpoint ball over the top of the Dundalk defence. After some good strength from Lonergan to fight off his defender, he slotted the ball into the far corner to send the Saints fans wild.
It was Lonergan who then doubled the lead in the 57th minute. Goalkeeper Dean Lyness played the ball long up to Lonergan who, similarly to the first goal, used his physicality to fight off the defender and he coolly lobbed the ball over the onrushing Dundalk goalkeeper Nathan Shepperd before wheeling off in celebration.
With fifteen minutes to play, Daniel Kelly's goal ensured it would be a nervy one for Saints players and fans alike. However, Mason Melia would have the final say with a late goal to celebrate his 16th birthday in style.
After being fouled in the box, Melia showed great confidence by picking up the ball and placing it on the penalty spot. He drove the ball low and hard to the right of the Dundalk ‘keeper, sending him the other way and completing a great night for his side with his second goal in the Premier Division this season since his debut in May.
This result leaves St Pat's in 3rd place in the league table, one point behind Derry City and six points off Shamrock Rovers. However, the Inchicore side have a game in hand on both teams, which is this game against Drogheda.
St Pat's have been outstanding as of late, with twelve wins, three draws and just two losses in their last 17 games.
Drogheda United currently sit in 7th place in the Premier Division, with 36 points from the 30 games they have played.
The last game for Kevin Doherty's side was a 0-0 home draw with Bohemians on Friday evening, having lost 3-1 to the same opposition the week before in the FAI Cup quarter-final.
The last time that the Drogs played the Saints was on the 9th of June in Weavers Park, with the home side coming out as 2-1 victors. Adam Foley put Drogheda 1-0 up before a Chris Forrester penalty levelled things up. However, in the 95th minute, former St Pat's player Darragh Markey stole the three points at the death for Drogheda.
The only time Drogheda have made the journey to Inchicore this season ended in a 3-0 win for the home side. Three late Saints goals won the game, with one from Jay McClelland and two from Chris Forrester.
The first meeting between the sides was in April, once again in Weavers Park. Chris Forrester, once again, stole the headlines with two goals in a 3-1 away victory. Dylan Grimes scored for Drogheda but a stoppage time finish from Eoin Doyle solidified the victory.
JON DALY: "It's an exciting time of the season"
Manager Jon Daly has overseen an excellent few months at the club. With all the excitement around the final few league games and the upcoming FAI Cup semi-final in Turner's Cross, Daly is insistent that his focus remains purely on the next game at all times:
"It's another difficult game. There's no easy games in this league. We're going to have to do our homework, as all of our energy has gone into the game against Dundalk.
I never look too far ahead. It's difficult having a Friday game and then a Monday game, so I'll be spending a lot of time watching them and putting a game plan in place for Monday.
It's an exciting time of the season. We knew the game against Dundalk was going to be a big three points if we could get them. We managed to do that and we're delighted with that.
We've plenty of other games coming up but we're going to put all our energy into getting the win against Drogheda on Monday."
JOE REDMOND: "Being back in front of the fans was excellent"
Saints captain Joe Redmond has been a stalwart in the defence since his return from injury. The 23-year-old knows the significance of every game at this point in the season and was keen to reiterate the part that the St Pat's fans have to play in getting them through each game:
"It's great (to be back in front of the fans). There's a buzz when you're coming in and all the fans are there. They were excellent against Dundalk, they came out in their numbers and we're definitely going to need them towards the end of the season in the run-in.
Thanks to them for coming out and backing us, even when it got tough there at the end against Dundalk, they got us over the line.
We're all pushing each other every day at the moment, but the focus has to be on the next game. If you get carried away in this league, you can fall off very easily.
We're really looking forward to the game against Drogheda. We'll assess how we can improve our performance against Dundalk and we'll go into that game fully focused and be ready for Monday."
Tom Grivosti (knee) is out.
Jay McGrath has returned from his suspension having missed Friday's 3-1 win over Dundalk.
A limited number of home tickets are still available for the game here.
As always, updates can be found on the Official St Pat's FC App - available now on both the App Store and Play Store.
Updates will also be available across all the club's social media channels.