St. Patrick's Athletic -v- BohemiansThu, Jun 21 2012
ST. PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
St Pat’s lost their unbeaten record to Dundalk just before the break, and they will be gunning to get a good start to the second half of the season with a win against Dublin rivals Bohemians. With Europe on the horizon for both of these sides, the next few weeks will be testing ones.
St. Pats are unbeaten in their last six games against Bohemians, and the sides played out a stalemate in a sun soaked Dalymount Park last March.
Saints boss Liam Buckley is expecting a tough game from the Gypsies.
“In comparison to the draw earlier in the season, it’ll be a much different game. Bohemians have really made huge progress since then and have claimed some really impress results. So as one would always expect when these two sides play in Richmond Park, it will be a tricky game for us.”
There is one man slightly happier than the rest in the Saints squad, as midfielder James Chambers is available for selection for the first time since mid-April.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Chambers said, "Yeah it’s great to be back after the lengthy lay-off. I worked over the break with our physio Fearghal Kerin to improve my fitness and to strengthen my knee, so while everyone was off I got in a good week of work. I trained all last week and have trained all this week to date as well, so things are looking good.”
Buckley knows how important and hectic the next four months will be for his squad, but he is looking forward to the challenge of Bohemians first and foremost.
“Everybody has been training for the last couple of weeks which is great,” Buckley told stpatsfc.com.
"The next four months will be really challenging for us with the games we have coming up and everyone else too. But at the moment, we’re all now looking forward to the Bohs game and getting back into action.”
Bohemians have a fully fit team and all are available for selection bar Evan McMillan who is suspended after picking up four yellow cards. There is a strong scent of St Pat’s off this Bohemians side, with five St Pat's players from last year in their ranks, Derek Pender, Neil Harney, Evan McMillan, David Mulcahy and Sean Stewart., as well as manager Aaron Callaghan, who was Pete Mahon’s first team coach.
Callaghan knows Pats will be a difficult challenge, but realises how big of a three points it could be.
“It’s always going to be difficult, no doubt about that”, said Callaghan.
“We have a win over Shels, which was a great result, and we drew against Sligo. So we would be optimistic going in against Pat’s. We’re six points behind them. If we can go over there and get a win, we’d be just three points off second place which would be a huge achievement from our point of view.”
Callaghan has many choices to make, with a couple of players back fit.
“It’s great that Owen [Heary] is fit again and we can throw him back in. We’ve also got options with Dave Mulcahy who can play centre-half and with Roberto Lopes who has done really well for us in the last few games.
“I have a bit of a selection headache because Luke [Byrne] is back as well, and so is Michael Barker. Dave has played most often in his career in midfield. He gives you that added bit of steel in the middle of the park. We have a lot of creative players in there but you need balance and that’s why we have been playing him there, and he has done well.”
Referee: Alan Kelly
St Pat’s haven’t been beaten by Bohemians in six games.
Bohemians have an away win percentage of nearly 43%, as opposed to 14% in Dalymount.
Bohemians have found goals hard to come by, with midfielder Ryan McEvoy top scorer with just four goals.
Home 8/15; Draw 13/5; Away 11/2
Strong showing from Bohemians, but just shaded by St Pats. 2-1 home win.
St. Patrick's Athletic Injuries: Mark Rossiter (Knee)
St. Patrick's Athletic Suspensions: None
Bohemians Injuries: None
Bohemians Suspensions: Evan McMillan
Damien Byrne joined the Extratime.ie team for the 2012 season. He is a Dublin based freelance reporter who is partial to a Friday in Richmond Park, and can be contacted at email@example.com or on twitter at @damienbyrne92