St Patrick's Ath -v- ShelbourneThu, Jun 28 2012
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
Pats welcome Shels to Richmond as they look to end a decade long hoodoo against their North Dublin rivals. It’s hard to imagine that the Supersaints haven’t recorded a home win against The Reds in the last decade, but with the sides at opposite ends of the table that might soon happen.
Pats are currently second in the table, a single point ahead of Shamrock Rovers, and four points behind table-toppers Sligo Rovers. Liam Buckley’s side came away from Tolka Park with a 1-1 draw earlier in the season when Christy Fagan salvaged a point for the visitors.
Pats are unbeaten in their last two league outings, however Buckley’s side were taken all the way by Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final on Monday. The home side eventually lost 4-2 on penalties.
Jake Kelly was a causality in that clash and the midfielder came off after 54 minutes with a hamstring injury. He is due to undergo a late fitness test prior to the game. Mark Rossiter is the only definite absentee for Friday night. The former Bohs player is suffering from a knee injury.
The enormity of the occasion isn’t lost on Buckley, who partook in the clash as a player for the Inchicore side. Speaking to StPatsFC.com the manager said, “The supporters always look forward to this game as it’s always a stand-out fixture on the calendar. We know they’ll be a great crowd in Richmond supporting us on Friday, and we’ll be really pushing to get a result for them.
“We are moving along nicely in the league to date, so a win would keep us heading in the right direction and leave us in a good position ahead of our upcoming games.”
The manager is under no illusions as to what to expect from Alan Mathews side, “Alan is again doing a very good job with Shels this season. He always has his side well prepared, he has his team well organised all the time, but at the same time they have a lot of players who pose a lot of problems in attacking areas. They always pose a threat so we’ll have to be 100% concentrated at all times.”
The Reds are comfortably located in mid-table and will travel to Inchicore full of confidence. They may have lost to Shamrock Rovers last week, but they can take heart from the defeat. Despite going down to ten-men they battled hard and were unlucky to lose by the narrowest of margins. A Gary Twigg goal with 11 minutes remaining was their undoing.
Shels away form is better than their home form, three wins away from Tolka have seen them maintain a decent position for a newly promoted side.
Philly Hughes has been on great form for his side, the striker scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Derry City and again last Friday he put Shels at 2-2 against Rovers.
The Reds manager felt that his side deserved something in the match against Shelbourne, speaking directly after the game he said ““We played really well tonight. We worked extremely hard against a very good side and I really felt we should have got something from the game – perhaps not the three points but I definitely believe our performance warranted a point at least.”
Shelbourne will be missing Anto Murphy for the game in Inchicore due to suspension, following his dismissal against Shamrock Rovers. Glenn Cronin is another possible absentee for the Tolka Park side having injury picked up an ankle injury at Derry City before the break.
Other than that, Shelbourne expect to have a full squad to select from, Stephen Hurley having returned to the fray last week from a long lay-off due to injury, Lorcan Fitzgerald also due to return after his long absence and Philly Gorman looking OK after his injury in Derry.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Shels haven’t lost at Inchicore since 2002.
St Pats have only lost once at home this season.
Shels have kept five clean sheets this season, four have been away from home.
St Pats 4/6, Draw 27/10, Shelbourne 21/4.
Pats may have one eye on Europe so I expect this to be a tight 1-1.
St Pats Injury News: Mark Rossiter, Jake Kelly (Doubt).
St Pats Suspension News: None.
Shelbourne Injury News: Glen Cronin (Doubt).
Shelbourne Suspension News: Anto Murphy.
P.J. generally covers Drogheda games at HD Park and can generally be found at any Dublin ground when of a loose end on a Friday night.