UCD -v- Drogheda UnitedSat, Oct 13 2012
The Students host Drogheda United in what is their final home game of the season. Martin Russell’s side have also played an extra game so will only have one more fixture after this.
UCD have had a significant lay off since a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of St Pats in Inchicore. No doubt this will have festered and Martin Russell will be demanding a response from his team.
“We are coming off a poor defeat away to St Pats. It was always going to be a challenge in Richmond, and even more so with the game coming so soon after the Bohs game. Throughout the campaign the lads have given so much, and even when results didn’t match performances earlier in the season, they kept the faith, continued to play ball, and as I knew
UCD have met Drogheda twice this season and have yet to record a win, they drew 1-1 at home in the first meeting before losing out in the return trip to Hunky Dorys Park.
“We can also now look forward to again competing with the likes of Drogheda next season, having secured our Premier Division status with three games to go. Considering the development of our group it is something to be proud of, given the gloomy outlook of some pundits, and more importantly another year testing yourself against the countries best can only be positive in our development.”
The Students will be without Striker Graham Rusk who made his return in Derry but he has had a little set back needs a little bit more training as does striker Cillian Morrison who has a swollen ankle. Sean Russell has a groin strain and will not be available
Drogheda kept their faint hopes of a second league title alive with a 2-1 win over Shels last week and the Boynsiders will know if a tilt at the title is still possible before they kick a ball in Belfield.
However, should Sligo wrap up the league then there is still second to play for and at the very least there is the looming threat of Shamrock Rovers who are still vying for that all-important third spot, currently occupied by the Drogs.
Speaking ahead of the clash Drogheda manager Mick Cooke remained pragmatic about the game, “UCD is never an easy place to go as Martin's teams like to play good football. We have had some good clashes since i came to Drogheda and even though they aren't easy, they are always enjoyable. Apart from the suspensions we have a fully fit squad and they will all be vying for a place in the starting XI.”
Mick Cooke will know that his run in is possibly the easiest of the top three, although with Sligo Rovers still to come to Hunky Dorys Park, it’s not exactly a walk in the park, but Cooke know’s that he will need to pick up points.
He will have to plan without the services of Ryan Brennan, Gavin Brennan and Eric Foley, three almost guaranteed starters, all of whom are suspended. Alan McNally returns from suspension and will most likely start at centre back.
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Drogheda’s last win at UCD came back in April 2008
UCD have only won four times at home this season while Drogheda have only lost three times on the road
UCD 11/15, Draw 9/4, Drogheda United 11/10
Drogheda to end their barren run in Belfield 2-0
UCD Injury News: Graham Rusk, Cillian Morrisson, Sean Russell
UCD Suspension News: None
Drogheda United Injury News: None
Drogheda United Suspension News: Ryan Brennan, Gavin Brennan, Eric Foley
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.