Monaghan United -v- Derry CityMon, May 14 2012
Monaghan United take to the field on Tuesday night after an eleven day break, having not played since their 2-1 defeat away to Shelbourne. This game was originally scheduled for last Friday night, but owing to Derry City’s involvement in Saturday’s Setanta Cup Final, the game was moved.
Derry City ultimately lost Saturday’s cup final after extra time and penalties, and Monaghan will be hoping that the away team’s exertions will have taken its toll.
Roddy Collins will have a strong panel to select from, although both Paul Whelan and Robert Bayly are doubtful. Whelan is a doubt after picking up a knock against Shelbourne, while Bayly has picked up a knock in training. Better news for Monaghan however is the return of Chris Bennion and Gareth O’Conor to the squad. Collins himself will be watching the game from the stands having picked up a one match suspension from the technical area in the previous home game.
United await their first home win of the season, they have also to score in front of the home fans, both matters no doubt they would hope to rectify in this game.
Speaking on the game Roddy Collins was in a reflective mood.
“I was disappointed not to have got at least a share of the spoils against Shelbourne. We were slow to get into the game but when we did we played some excellent football. I thought we owned the second half, having taken the lead we should have been a bit cuter in maintaining it, we got caught twice on counter attacks and I believe that in the end we were unlucky not to have got anything from the game.”
“This match against Derry sees us complete our first series of games; I now know the qualities of each of the other sides in the Premier Division. The sides close to us in the table are established squads and I don’t see most of them improving. I believe we on the other hand can, I have targeted three positions that we are weak in and with the transfer window approaching I believe I can bring in the three players required.”
“In this next series we will have most of the leading sides at home and I am confident of reversing the results from many of the games in the first round, it only requires a couple of good results to lift us off the bottom, something that is well within our capabilities.”
“Although I never had my best eleven to select from in consecutive games this season nevertheless I have a strong panel to select from against Derry.”
“Tuesday is not the most suitable day of the week for fans but nevertheless I appeal to everyone who supports Monaghan United to make an effort and get out there as that support for the club was never more needed.”
Derry City will have to pick themselves up after their penalty shoot out heartbreak against Crusaders in the Setanta Cup final.
They travel to Gortakeegan tomorrow night in need of three points after a disappointing week. With City lying in eight position in the league, a win over Monaghan would see the Foylesider's climb two places into sixth ahead of Bray Wanderers whereas a draw would see them move ahead of Cork City into seventh place.
Having played 120 minutes of football on Saturday, not to mention the emotional drain of losing a cup final on penalties, Derry City could be forgiven for being tired ahead of tomorrow night’s game. However Declan Devine is keen to put Saturday behind them and move on as the Candystripes will look to bounce back.
"We need to forget about the result on Saturday and dust ourselves down and get on with the job at hand. Yes the squad are all every disappointed with the outcome but it's back to the bread and butter stuff now. Results haven't gone our way over the last couple of weeks but I feel they will turn for us. We will go to Monaghan expecting a tough, physical game against a team that has had a week off and should be well rested. If we get the three points tomorrow I feel this will be a fresh start we need to start to put a couple of results together and move up the table where we belong".
Barry Molloy, Rory Patterson, Patrick McEleney, Ryan McBride and Stephen McLaughlin are all doubtful and will face late fitness tests.
Referee: Derek Tomney.
The two sides last met in the league on the last day of the 2010 season, also in Gortakeegan. Derry City emerged victorious that day, courtesy of a late Mark Farren goal.
Monaghan United supporters have yet to be treated to more than one goal in any of their home games this season. What’s more is all of the goals scored at Gortakeegan have been scored by the visiting teams.
Only Sligo Rovers and St Pats have conceded fewer goals than Derry City in the league this season.
Monaghan United 7/2, Draw 5/2, Derry City 8/11.
Monaghan United 1-1 Derry City.
Monaghan United injury news: John Reilly, Paul Whelan and Robert Bayly.
Monaghan United suspension news: Keith Quinn.
Derry City injury news: Stewart Greacen, Kevin Deery and Mark Farren.
Derry City suspension news: None.
Brian Fitzgerald is a Dublin-based reporter who has followed Cork City since the mid 1990's. Brian can be contacted at email@example.com or followed on twitter @B_Twitzgerald