Dundalk -v- St Patrick's AthleticSat, Oct 06 2012
Having shipped 11 goals in their last two games, Dundalk will welcome the break from league action when they host St. Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Cup semi-final. A 7-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers followed by a 4-0 defeat to Derry City hasn’t been exactly the best preparation for the Lilywhites, but they have found the winning formula in the Cup and have progressed to this stage for the first time since their last win in 2002.
The Lilywhites beat Bohemians in the quarter-final stage three weeks ago – their only victory against a Premier Division club since incidentally their victory against St. Patrick’s Athletic in May- the relegation threatened club will be hoping that they can claim a second defeat on the Inchicore side.
Dundalk will have to plan without striker Mark Griffin who sits out this encounter through suspension while Paul Whelan miss out due to the fact they are cup-tied. Garreth Brady is still carrying injury however Derek Foran’s return during the week is a massive boost to the team.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com before the match, manager Darius Kierans has pleaded with everyone to stay behind the club and spoke of the importance of unity.
“It has been a difficult year for everyone both on and off the pitch. But we’re still in there and we’re fighting. We’re in the semi-final of this Cup and we have two more cup finals coming up with the playoff and it’s vital that we all stick together.”
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St. Patrick’s Athletic come into this one as overwhelming favourites, underlined by their 5 goal thrashing of UCD on Monday night. The Saints have been at the top all season and are still in with an outside chance of claiming the league title but their focus will be fully on the FAI Cup. Some good results of late mean that they go to Oriel Park in confident mood and their recent record at the border venue also weighs heavily in their favour.
For the second round in a row, the Inchicore side will face Louth opposition having defeated Dundalk’s neighbours Drogheda United on penalties in the quarter-final. They will be hoping that is another good omen on the road to hopefully ending their 51 year wait for Cup success.
For the match itself the visitors will be without Ryan Coombes due to his involvement with the Ireland U19’s while Mark Rossiter sits out due to a knee injury. Hernany Macedo, Sean O’Connor and John Russell could feature following their return to training along with Conor Kenna. Liam Buckley’s troops will be boosted further by the return from suspension of former Lilywhite Greg Bolger, Pat Flynn and James Chambers.
Speaking ahead of the match, St. Patrick’s Athletic boss Buckley is pleased with how preparation has gone for the match but is not underestimating their opponents by any means.
"Training has gone well this week since Monday’s win and all the lads are pushing for a place in the starting line-up against a Dundalk team that will give us a tough game. Cup semi-finals have a lot at stake, so we’ll being going out there to apply ourselves as best we can and hopefully get the result. Darius Kierans will have them well prepared as well so we know we’ll be up against it on Sunday
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Dundalk haven’t conceded a goal in this season’s competition – playing 3 matches and scoring 6 goals.
The sides have met 16 times in the FAI Cup previously with Dundalk coming out on top on 10 occasions, St. Pat’s 3 times and there have also been 3 stalemates.
As mentioned before, The Saints have a good recent record - Pat’s have won on their last six visits to Oriel Park and that includes an FAI Cup tie in June 2010 where Pat’s won 1-0. The last time the Lilywhites avoided defeat against the Saints at home was a 0-0 draw in March 2010.
Dundalk 6/1; Draw 11/4; St Patrick’s Athletic 1/2.
St. Patrick’s to edge it, 1-0.
Dundalk injury news: Garreth Brady(ankle)
Dundalk suspension news: Mark Griffin.
Cup-tied: Paul Whelan and Stephen Maher.
St. Patrick’s Athletic injury news: Mark Rossiter
St. Patrick’s Athletic suspension news: None.