report to follow
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United will be looking to leapfrog Bohemians in the league table when the sides meet Friday night at Dalymount Park, kickoff 7.45pm.
The two sides are locked on 25 points with Bohemians ahead courtesy of goal difference but the visitors will travel to Dublin full of confidence based on recent performances.
United are now undefeated in their last three games; picking up two wins in the process as well as a creditable draw with table toppers Dundalk, a result which delighted Drogheda manager Damien Richardson.
“I felt that we were more than worthy of a point against Dundalk,’ Richardson explained. “As the second half progressed, I thought we looked the more likely to win the game but the performance was very encouraging. There was a good vibrancy about our display which was more pleasing than anything else and that gives me great hope for the weeks that remain. Results are fantastic when they come but the key to a good future is consistently good performances and we are now getting that from the players.”
Drogheda fell behind to a 19th minute header from Pat Hoban and while many may have expected the floodgates to open, the hosts leveled straight from kickoff through Gary O’Neill’s stunning strike.
“To equalise immediately after falling behind showed the character that this group of players have. I don’t think Dundalk were used to that; as league leaders you generally have everything go your own way. I’m trying to instill confidence into this side and positive results are the key to this. I know that the supporters loved the game last week and I hope that they went home thinking that maybe this team are starting to realise their true potential.“
Stephen Maher will be missing once again for Drogheda as he continues his recovery from injury. The former St. Pat’s man visited a specialist yesterday and the Club hope that he can return to training in a fortnight while Michael Daly was forced off early in the Louth Derby due to an ankle injury and the midfielder is doubtful having not trained all week.
As for the hosts, the Gypsies come into the game having failed to win in their last three games as they have paid the price for failing to score in the outings against Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and UCD.
Owen Heary will be without the suspended Eoin Wearen while Anto Murphy will be missing having dislocated his ankle against UCD last Friday.
The sides met in the second week of the season as a double from Gary O’Neill rescued a 2-2 draw while Drogheda were victorious in the corresponding fixture back in May courtesy of Carl Walshe’s solitary strike.
Despite Bohemians recording only one win at home all season, Richardson is anticipating a tight game between two evenly matched sides.
“I know that Daylmount is never an easy venue from my many trips there as a player and as a manger. You always have to produce your best to leave with a result and I’m sure tomorrow night will be no different. I am expecting a tight game as the league table would suggest but there is no point in being ambiguous about it, we are going there looking for a win.”
Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley 90’)
Jason Byrne (Ryan McEvoy 78’)
Dinny Corcoran (Adam Evans 85’)
Cathal Brady (Declan O’Brien 72’)
Carl Walshe (Garreth Brady 85’)
Karl Moore 14’
Jason Byrne 67’
Gavin Brennan 64’
Steven Beattie (red) 73’
Shane Grimes (yellow)
Gavin Brennan (red) 73’