Shamrock Rovers -v- Drogheda UnitedSat, Sep 22 2012
The first silverware of the season goes on offer in Tallaght Stadium on Saturday afternoon as Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United battle for the EA Sports Cup trophy. Kick-off, 5.45pm.
Brian Laws starts his reign in charge of Shamrock Rovers with a chance to bring some much-needed relief after a poor league season to date.
Rovers lie 14 points off top stop in the Premier Division but have the chance to win some silverware as they approach the final weeks of their league season.
Their passage to the final has seen a 2-0 win against SD Galway, a 4-2 penalty shootout win against St. Patrick’s Athletic and a 4-1 semi-final win away to Limerick.
Brian Laws may have up to seven players missing for the match. Graham Gartland and Conor Winn both miss the game through back injuries. Rovers also have doubts over Colin Hawkins (sprain), Craig Sives and Conor McCormack (ankle) who will all undergo late fitness tests ahead of the game. Ken Oman and Pat Sullivan are both suspended.
"It is very unusual for your first game with a club to be a cup final, but that's the way it is. We want to start off well with a win tomorrow and then we will be looking at the last six games as a mini-league from which we will be looking to qualify for a European spot”, Shamrock Rovers director of football, Brian Laws said ahead of the game.
Drogheda United must put their excellent Premier Division season on hold for a weekend as they look to bring silverware back to Hunky Dorys Park.
14 wins from 25 matches in the league has catapulted Drogheda to second position in the league table, seven points behind leaders Sligo Rovers.
Drogheda saw off Athlone Town (5-2) in round one before beating Bohemians on penalties. They needed penalties again to see off Dundalk while a 2-1 win against Sligo Rovers brought them into the final.
Michael Schlingermann, Michael Marks and John Sullivan are all cup-tied also. Alan Byrne is available for selection, while Paul Crowley has returned to full fitness.
“Training last night was a joy, everyone was working hard, but they were calm and relaxed at the same time and we are all looking forward to the game”, Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke said. “If you can't get motivated by a cup final then you shouldn't really be in football.”
Referee: Tomas Connolly
Shamrock Rovers have won all three league matches between the sides this season.
Both teams needed penalty shootouts along the way to the final; Drogheda against Bohemians and Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers against St Patrick’s Athletic.
Shamrock Rovers: 10/11, Draw 9/4, Drogheda United 3/1.
Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Drogheda United.
Shamrock Rovers Injury News: Graham Gartland, Conor Winn.
Shamrock Rovers Suspension News: Ken Oman, Pat Sullivan.
Drogheda United Injury News: None
Drogheda United Suspension News: None. (Michael Schlingermann, Michael Marks and John Sullivan cup tied.)
Brendan White is Extratime News Editor and is responsible for the news section of Extratime.ie. Brendan also covers matches in Dublin and Waterford. You can contact Brendan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @whitebrendan.