Drogheda United -v- BohemiansFri, Aug 10 2012
The Boynsiders will be lining out in their third game in six days when Bohemians come to town on Friday night. Mick Cooke’s charges have gone through an entire spectrum of emotions over those days.
Conceivably their league challenge has been ended having lost 4-1 to Sligo at the Showgrounds on Saturday. However they booked their place in their first league cup final in 28 years on Monday when they exacted revenge on The Bit O’Red with a 2-1 win in the EA Sports Cup final. So which Drogheda will turn up is anyone’s guess.
But the Boynesiders have failed to beat their opponents in a league game since Friday July 13th 2007 when Tony ‘Boots’ Grant scored in the 88th minute to seal a 1-0 win in Drogheda for the Drogs.
Mick Cooke spoke of the record and the former Monaghan manager merely commented that “records are made to be broken.” The experienced boss was understandably delighted with earning a berth in the EA Sports Cup final but speaking after that win on Monday he said that he had some banter with the lads in the dressing room and they enjoyed it for a while but their attention was firmly on this game on Friday night.
The Boynesiders have no injuries or suspensions to worry about and Cooke expects a few selection headaches ahead of the clash. “This will be our third game in the space of seven days, obviously I will have to make changes to the team, I did that on Monday and it worked but I will do it again. There are plenty of lads chomping at the bit to get in the team though, so I will have a welcome selection headache. ”
The Gypsies are unbeaten in five league games and will be hoping to add a sixth to that run when they travel to Drogheda and as stated above the history books are very much in their favour.
Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan is understandably pleased with where his team are at the moment, despite all the pre-season expectations.They are currently lying in fifth and well within striking distance of their rivals Shamrock Rovers. Should Bohemians take all three points on Friday and Rovers lose to Sligo on Monday then they would be level on points.
The Dubliners were unlucky not to beat Bray Wanderers last week, they were held to a 0-0 draw at Dalymount and Drogheda manager Mick Cooke was in attendance at a game which saw Callaghan describe his team’s performance as “wonderful”. The sides have met twice so far this season and in 90 minutes they have drawn although Bohemians were beaten 4-3 on penos in the EA Sports Cup in Hunky Dorys Park.
Speaking ahead of the game Callaghan said his side are more focused on performance rather than results, “It’s very hard to say you’re going to win particular games but what you can do is ask the players to perform to a certain level.
“We have plans for each unit of the team. For example, the defenders will look at the number of clean sheets, the number of headers they win and so on.
“Sometimes it takes time for a team to settle down. The lads are starting to understand the system and their roles and responsibilities. They have had to adjust to a different formation,” he added.
Dinny Corcoran may get a re-call to the starting team to face his former side as Dave Scully is suspended and rather bizarrely John O’Connor is out having sustained a dog bite. Also missing Friday’s game is Dave Mulcahy, serving a one-match suspension, while Luke Byrne (illness) may not yet be fit to return.
Referee: Rob Rogers
Since losing to Drogheda in 2007 Bohemians have never failed to score against the Boynesiders.
Drogheda have scored in all their games since a 0-0 draw with St Pats back in April
If Bohemians win or draw it will continue their best run of the season
Drogheda United Evs, Draw, 9/4, Bohemians 13/5
That win over Sligo on Monday was priceless, the Boynesiders will be full of confidence on Friday and i expect them to win 3-1
Drogheda United Injury News: None
Drogheda United Suspension News: None
Bohemians Injury News: John O’Connor, Luke Byrne (doubt)
Bohemians Suspension News: Dave Mulcahy, Dave Scully
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.