Shelbourne -v- St Patrick's AthleticSun, Sep 09 2012
Shelbourne will be aiming to build on their last league game, after drawing with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght, when they welcome St. Patrick’s Athletic to Tolka Park for another Dublin derby on Monday evening.
Shels’ season has been a fluctuating roller coaster ride with their impressive draw with Rovers preceded by a disappointing home defeat to Derry City. These two contrasting performances typify what Alan Mathews and his team have offered in their first season back in the top tier of Irish football since 2006. Three points on Monday night could put Shels in 6th position, if other results go their way.
The last league meetings between these sides resulted in a 1-0 victory for St. Pats in Inchicore. However, the last league meeting in Tolka Park was a 1-1 draw and this will be a result Shelbourne manager, Alan Mathews will at least try and emulate. Speaking to ShelsTV after the Rovers game he was confident that his team could produce another good performance.
“Another difficult game, but going into it as confident as we are after this (Rovers) game – although disappointed – we will make sure that we try to replicate this performance, but maybe try and match with a better result.”
Anto Murphy is a concern for Shelbourne after picking up a knock to his back against Rovers, but is expected to be fit and Glen Cronin misses out due to suspension. Mathews has also got positive news as Kevin Dawson, Gareth Mathews and Brian Shortall all return from suspension.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
After their exciting performances in the Europa League, Liam Buckley will be determined that his men get European experience again next season. So, as they sit pretty in third position in the league with an FAI Cup quarter final match coming up, this aim seems eminently achievable and represents a positive first season back in charge of the Inchicore team.
Their last league game was a five-goal thriller in which they emerged victorious against Bohemians in Dalymount Park. Given they have not lost to Shels in the league this season; Pats will be keen to extend this record and perhaps gain the three points.
The Saints are two points behind second placed Drogheda United with a game in hand. Although they are highly unlikely to win the title with Sligo Rovers presently enjoying an eight point advantage, Liam Buckley will be keen to take second place and fend off the challenge of both Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers.
Buckley will be without the injured Mark Rossiter and Darren Meenan due to suspension for the game, while Ian Bermingham, Jake Kelly, John Russell and Stephen O’Flynn are also struggling to be fit.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com after the Bohemians games, Liam Buckley was hopeful his team would continue their momentum for Monday night’s game. “We have got to push on against Shels on Monday to see if we can get something in the game on Monday, because I have no doubt if we keep on winning our games, that someone is going to drop points like Rovers did tonight, which I am sure they will be disappointed with. But I have no doubt if you take your eye of the ball, you can easily come a cropper in this league because there are so many difficult games. I don’t think there are any easy ones. We just have to get focussed again and make sure we get a full recovery from the lads, juggle it around on Monday and make sure we get some sort of result.”
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
St. Pats has lost none of their 12 away matches in the Airtricity League this season.
Shelbourne have only won three of their last ten competitive games.
Shelbourne 21/10, Draw 23/10, St Patrick’s Athletic 6/5.
St Pats to continue their run with a 2-0 victory.
Shelbourne Injury News: Anto Murphy (concern).
Shelbourne Suspension News: Glenn Cronin, Paddy Kavanagh.
St Patrick’s Athletic Injury News: Mark Rossiter (knee) - Ian Bermingham, Jake Kelly, John Russell and Stephen O’Flynn (all doubtful).
St Patrick’s Athletic Suspension News: Darren Meenan.
Paul Walsh is a part-time freelance journalist based in Dublin and freelancing for a number of publications. Follow him on twitter @walshpots