ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
Sixth in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division’s plays third as St. Patrick’s Athletic welcome Dundalk to the Stadium of Light on Monday night.
Pat’s bounced back from their defeat in Waterford to edge out Bohemians 1-0, courtesy of a Dean Clarke strike in Dalymount last Friday.
Team Boss Liam Buckley was in ebullient mood when he spoke to stpatsfc.com.
"I was delighted with the win on Friday night against Bohs. I thought the players worked really hard and showed great commitment and concentration to see out the game and get the points. We need to show that desire throughout the season and that coupled with more work on a few areas will see us improve."
With the compressed nature of the early season fixture list, Buckley’s men have had little chance to rest on their laurels.
"However, our focus since late Friday night has been on recovery and preparing for another tough game.”
A slow start caught Pat’s out in their only other home league game to date, a point not lost on their manager.
"We need to be at it from the off as that was what cost us against Cork City in our last home game.
There were 2,771 in attendance at Pat’s’ February 16th clash with the reigning champions and Buckley would love to see similar against Dundalk.
“We have had some great support at all our games to date, so we are expecting another big crowd on Monday night."
After a slow start, Dundalk’s season is ramping up after a thumping of Limerick was followed by a 1-0 win over champions Cork City at a rocking Oriel Park on Friday.
Dane Massey, who is deputizing as captain in the absence of Stephen O’Donnell, was delighted to lead Dundalk to that success over Cork City. He gave this reaction to dundalkfc.com.
“It was brilliant,” said Massey. “The build-up to the game all week was fantastic. The turnout was great to see and the atmosphere was brilliant, especially when we scored the goal – the place just erupted.
“It really does help the players, especially in the last 10 minutes, seeing supporters so passionate and screaming to get you over the line. It’s great to see.”
Patrick Hoban gave Dundalk an early lead, which Massey confirms was in line with his side’s pre-match expectations. “The plan to come out and get on top of them, press them really high from the word ‘go’.”
“It’s part of our game to set the tempo and we got our just rewards with the goal. I don’t think the ball went too far away from the goalkeeper’s body, but Pat was there on his toes and got on the end of it.”
With two successive victories following two draws to start the season, the left back is delighted with four consecutive matches without conceding.
“It’s great. Confidence is flying now, but it’s only three points at the end of the day. It’s another clean sheet as well which is a big confidence boost for the back four and the goalkeeper. We’ve competition all over the back four. If you’re in there, you have to be at the top of your game to keep your jersey. Fair play to Gary Rogers as well – he pulled out another big save as well.”
Massey is privileged to be handed the captain’s armband.
“It’s a huge honour. The club is steeped in history and to be made captain by Stephen Kenny is fantastic. I don’t take it for granted one bit. It’s a massive honour.”
Dundalk now switch focus to their trip to Inchicore. “We’ve got a quick turnaround to Pats now, which is good. We’ve a big enough squad to deal with it and good enough players to come in, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Referee: Rob Rogers.
A goal in either half from Michael Duffy and David McMillan gave Dundalk all three points on the last occasion the sides met in the Premier Division at the Stadium of Light, that was on 25h May 2017.
St. Patrick’s Athletic failed to score against Dundalk in the whole of last season. Dundalk enjoyed 3-0 and 6-0 wins in the two 2017 encounters at Oriel Park.
Pat’s last victory over the Lilywhites in the league was a 5-2 Stadium of Light victory, on 25th October 2016. Christy Fagan, Ian Bermngham and Conan Byrne (2) were on the mark on that occasion.
Dundalk have yet to concede a goal in the league this season. Pat’s will be encouraged by their first clean sheet of the season, in their last match with Bohemians.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 4/1; Dundalk 8/13; Draw 11/4.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-2 Dundalk
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Killian Brennan.
Doubtful: Jamie Lennon.
Injured: John Mountney (knee).