St Patrick's Athletic v Drogheda UnitedThu, Sep 13 2012
Pats may be out of the hunt for a league title, but their season is very much alive as they chase an FAI Ford Cup and a second place finish, there is only one team in their way of both and that is Drogheda United.
Consistency has been the main problem for Liam Buckley’s side, but since a shock 1-0 defeat to Bray in August they have gone five games unbeaten, winning four of those five.
Pats put Crumlin United out of the cup in the second round, they cruised to a 3-0 away win, they come into this game having recorded an impressive 2-0 win away to Shels on Monday night, Christy Fagan and Vinny Faherty secured all three points.
Mark Rossiter continues to be an absentee with a knee injury. Dean Kelly and Stephen O’Flynn are both out while a doubt surrounds John Russell. New Brazilian signing Hernany Macedo came off injured on Monday night and will need a fitness test before the game.
Speaking ahead of the game, Liam Buckley spoke about how recent results will put them in good stead for the game, "We've had some good wins lately and Drogheda have been going well for a long time now. We know we'll get nothing easy against them, but it's a game we're all relishing. The Cup is a special competition so we’ll be going all out to win and get into the semi-finals."
The Boynesiders are half-way through a month which has been described as one of the biggest in the clubs history and they have two wins from two so far. But manager Mick Cooke is all too aware that this game will be a lot different to anything they have experienced so far this season.
“The cup is an entirely different prospect but we may have a slight advantage in that we have won up there already,” he also added that he would have preferred a cup match.
A 2-0 win for Drogheda was the result of the last meeting between the two teams, Drogheda and Pats shared the spoils when they faced-off at Hunky Dorys Park.
Drogheda United came back from a goal down within the first two minutes to grind out a 2-1 win at home to Bray on Monday night, this was preceded by a 3-1 win at the Carlisle Grounds on the previous Friday night, so they are currently in a rich vein of form.
The victories and their manner spoke to the character surrounding the team according to the manger “Monday night showed that we really don't do things the easy way. It's the second home game in a row we've had to come from behind and in Bray we took the lead and lost it and had to do it all over again, but it demonstrates the tremendous character that's in this team.”
Cooke has a fully fit squad although he will be without a small contingent of former Monaghan United players who are cup-tied, Alan Byrne, Jason Marks, Cathal McMahon and Michael Schlingermann are all out.
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Pats have kept three clean sheets in their last five games.
Drogheda have won two penalities in their last two games, Declan O’Brien dispatched both.
St Patricks Athletic 7/10, Draw 5/2, Drogheda United 7/2.
This has draw written all over it 1-1.
St Patricks Athletic Injury News: Mark Rossiter.
St Patricks Athletic Suspension News: None.
Drogheda United Injury News: None.
Drogheda United Suspension News: Alan Byrne, Jason Marks, Conor McMahon and Michael Schlingerman (Cup-tied).
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.