Drogheda United -v- UCDThu, Jul 26 2012
Drogheda United come into this game with five straight league wins, but they face arguably their bogey team. The Boynesiders have only beaten UCD once in the last six competitive meetings between the sides.
Despite their position in the table, Drogheda manager Mick Cooke still doesn’t see his side as real title contenders, speaking ahead of the game on Friday night the Drogheda manager said “I think it's still too early to call us title-contenders, we still have everyone left to play and we have to play Sligo twice. There are a lot of games left to play.”
Before the season I said we should be finishing sixth or seventh but now I would be aiming for a Top Four finish, he added.
Drogheda needed a 93rd minute winner from Gavin Brennan to beat Shels last week, but they will be without their influential midfielder who was booked and has reached his yellow card limit. His brother Ryan Brennan is also suspended as he is serving an additional match ban for his red card in the 2-0 win over St Pats. However, after a lengthy time off Brian Gannon is available for selection.
The Drogheda manager will not underestimate his opponents, despite the fact they are rooted to the bottom of the table.
“It's going to be a difficult task on Friday night and I won't take any game lightly. UCD are the only side to beat Sligo this season and they had a good result last week with a draw against Pats. Martin will have his team well prepared and I'm sure he'll be using this debate which has been raging on MNS to fuel his players, so we will certainly be wary of that.”
“We are on a good run at the moment, but we have to translate our away form into some good results at home now. I will just be taking everything one game at a time.”
UCD are the most out of form side in the division, the Students are languishing at the bottom of the table and are in severe risk of falling too far away from Dundalk and Bray. However, a draw at home to St Pats last week will do wonders for their confidence.
Speaking ahead of the game, UCD manager Martin Russell was fully aware of the challenge faced by his side,
“Drogheda have had a fantastic season. Recent results have been extremely impressive and we know that the game in Hunky Dory Park is going to be very tough. It will provide an incredibly difficult challenge both from a footballing sense and physically but we are definitely ready. “
The Students had a friendly earlier in the week against Stevenage FC and Russell feels that along with the result against Pats his side are primed for this clash.
“Last time out against Pats was a great confidence booster for our lads, getting something from the game when in previous matches we might not have. The whole squad has had a run out this week following the very competitive friendly with Stevenage. We are in good shape and definitely looking to get something from this game.”
Russell will be without five players for the trip to the North East, Ger Barron, Graham Rusk, Chris Mulhall, Cillian Morrison and Sean Russell are all out. But UCD have no suspensions to worry about.
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Drogheda United are the only side with a 100% record since the summer break while UCD are the only team without an away win this season.
Drogheda have only beaten UCD once in their last six competitive meetings,
Drogheda United 1/2, Draw 13/5, UCD 5/1.
I thought Drogheda’s winning streak would end last week at Tolka, but at home against their bogey team, surely? 2-1 UCD.
Drogheda United injury News: None.
Drogheda United suspension News: Gavin Brennan, Ryan Brennan.
UCD Injury News: Ger Barron, Graham Rusk, Chris Mulhall, Cillian Morrison, Sean Russell.
UCD Suspension News: None.
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.