With Friday’s Dublin Derby taking place on the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the patron saint of Ireland’s honours went to ...Sat, Mar 17 2018
It's no Centenary Quaich but there's something arguably more important at stake at Dalymount Park on Friday night – three points and a precious derby win (kick-off 7.45pm).
Keith Long has seen his side's strong start to the season ebb somewhat, with a draw in Limerick and defeat at home to Derry City in their last two games.
They've had longer than usual to mull over the latter result as their trip to Cork City last week was cancelled, along with Monday's EA Sports Cup game with Cabinteely.
The good news for Bohemians is that they've already enjoyed Derby success at Dalyer this season, having put Shamrock Rovers to the sword with a 3-1 win on opening day.
It's that performance – if not quite the heart-stopping drama – that Long will look for his side to replicate on Friday night and get moving back up the table.
“The extreme weather has disrupted the fixture list and it will have a knock-on effect over the next few weeks with a backlog of games,” Long told the club's website.
“This will be a test of our squad and our durability but it will be the same for all clubs.
Of the defeat to Derry, Long added: “I felt it was a great opportunity missed.
“It was a disjointed performance and we never really exerted enough pressure on the opposition when the game was in the balance.
“We must learn from this. But we are a young group and I believe we will improve. Hopefully now we can put in a good performance and get the desired result.”
Strikers Ryan Swan and Cristian Magerusan remain long-term absentees, but fellow attackers Dinny Corcoran and Rob Manley return from groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
St Patrick's Athletic had their own reasons to rue the enforced 11-day break from competitive action as they look to bounce back from last week's 2-0 loss in Waterford.
Goals from ex-Saint Kenny Browne and Bastien Hery saw off the Saints in a game in which the visitors never really got going and were deserved losers.
Pats performed well despite losing their season opener to champions Cork City before getting a merited win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds in week two.
Consistency has been a problem for Liam Buckley's side over the past two seasons, however, as evidenced by their form in this fixture last year.
Pats won the first meeting between the sides at Dalymount Park 4-0, a game made famous by Conan Byrne's halfway line strike, but lost the next two meetings.
"Bohs got off to a great start with a win over Shamrock Rovers and a draw in Limerick,” Buckley told the club's official website.
“I saw them lose to Derry City last week and they were unlucky to be edged out. Keith Long has put together a good squad and we are expecting a tough game."
"We had a mix of results last year against Bohs so it just showed that it's all about producing on the day.
“We know we have to be at it from the off and if we can apply ourselves right and perform to a good level, we can hopefully come away with a result."
Defender Mick Leahy and Thomas Byrne are fit again, while Killian Brennan has also regained full fitness, as Buckley has a full squad to choose from.
Referee: Robert Hennessy
The sides met three times in the league last season with radically contrasting outcomes
Pats won the first meeting at Dalymount Park in March, Conan Byrne scoring a remarkable goal from the halfway line as the Saints romped to a 4-0 win.
Bohs got revenge with a 3-1 win at Richmond Park in June, before a Dinny Corcoran double helped them to a 3-2 win in the final game at home.
Bohemians 17/10; Draw 21/10; St Patrick's Athletic 8/5.
Bohemians 2 – 3 St Patrick's Athletic
Injured: Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal), Ryan Swan (cruciate).
St Patrick's Athletic