Drogheda United -v- Derry CitySun, Sep 09 2012
The Boynesiders are still pushing to catch league leaders Sligo Rovers and Mick Cooke’s side will be looking for their fourth win on the bounce when they host Derry City.
Currently sitting second in the league, Drogheda United know that they are still capable of slipping down the positions should they undergo another period which saw them lost three times in four league games.
Drogheda will be boosted by the return of Alan McNally, who should replace the suspended Alan Byrne, along with Gavin Brennan, whose absence from midfield has been telling. However there is a doubt surrounding Ryan Brennan and Eric Foley.
Speaking ahead of the game Mick Cooke knows he is facing a side who are, in terms of a top four finish, in the last chance saloon.
“Derry will be coming to Drogheda knowing that this is really their last chance at making a push for a top-four spot and despite losing on Friday night we will in no way underestimate them. They are still one of the best sides in the country and we will not take this game lightly.”
Drogheda came away from the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night with all three points having been held to a scoreless draw at the break. The Drogheda manager spoke of his side’s poor performance in the first half, “We were sloppy in the first half and Bray were by far the better side and to be honest we were lucky to go in 0-0 at the break. But the lads picked it up in the second half and we did well to come away with the points. But results show that there are no easy games in this league.”
The Candystripes travel to Drogheda having failed to score against Cork City at home on Friday night, they lost 1-0. The result left manager Declan Devine fuming, speaking to the Derry City Journal he said, “We had five or six shots blocked from short distances from goal and we put a lot of quality crosses into the box but we didn’t attack the crosses the way that we should have.
“We had a lot of possession and played some fantastic football but that’s only a part of the game if you don’t score goals.
“The reality is, we defended really well and a lapse in concentration led to their goal,” he added.
Derry haven’t beaten Drogheda in their two meetings this season and their away record has seen them win only four times away from the Brandywell. Devine’s side has been hit with injury recently and he has needed to replace Stewart Greacen, Rory Patterson, Owen Morrison in recent matches. He will also be without Ryan McBride, who was sent off on Friday night.
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Derry haven’t scored against Drogheda this season and they have conceded five goals in two games.
Derry’s 1-0 defeat on Friday is their second game in a row without scoring.
Drogheda United 13/10, Draw 11/5, Derry City 2/1.
2-1 Drogheda United
Drogheda United Injury News: Eric Foley (Doubt), Ryan Brennan (Doubt)
Drogheda United Suspension News: Alan Byrne.
Derry City Injury News: Stewart Greacen, Rory Patterson, Owen Morrison
Derry City Suspension News: Ryan McBride.
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.