Drogheda United -v- ShelbourneSun, Sep 30 2012
Having drawn 0-0 with Pats on Friday night, it’s fair to say that the Boynesiders chance of a second league title is gone. But With Shamrock Rovers having thumped Dundalk on Friday, the fight for European places is well and truly underway.
Drogheda trail the Saints by a single point, but lead Shamrock Rovers by only five points with four games remaining. This makes the game against Shels a must win for the Boynesiders as they still have to host Sligo Rovers.
Mick Cooke was the happier of the two managers on Friday night but admits that a victor was needed to pressure the Bit O’Red. Speaking about Monday night’s clash the Drogheda manager was quick to dismiss his side’s record against Shels this season,
“We've beaten Shels twice this season, but that doesn't really count for anything, you just have to look to our cup win over Rovers to see how meaningless a stat like that is. They beat us three times this season.
A lot of Alan Mathews side will be focused on playing themselves into the starting XI for the cup semi-final this weekend, so clearly they will be putting on a good display,” he added.
The Drogheda manager will have Declan O’Brien back from selection and he will be needed, however Alan McNally will be suspended having picked up eight yellow cards.
Alan Mathews makes his final trip to his old stomping ground on Monday night. They will still be looking to finish in fifth and will have one eye on Sunday’s trip to the Brandywell.
Shels also had a 0-0 draw at home to Bray Wanderers on Friday night and it’s their third game unbeaten as they look to push further up the table. In two meetings with the Boynesiders this season The Reds ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 and 2-1 scorline.
However the most recent meeting will still linger in the Shels memory as a 93rd minute winner denied them a point against Drogheda, something which they will felt that they would have deserved.
Anto Murphy will miss out on Monday’s game, due to the serving the second of two additional games’ suspension for being sent off against St.Patricks Athletic. Stephen Paisley returns after suspension for accumulation of yellow cards.
Philly Gorman returned from injury for the last seven minutes of Friday night’s game with Bray Wanderers and having had no reaction to the hip injury is likely to feature on Monday. Philly Hughes had not recovered 100% from a groin injury and was not risked but he could be fit for the journey to the North East.
Referee: Neil Doyle
Both meetings between the sides have seen more than 2.5 goals scored, with Drogheda winning both.
Shels have only won five games away from home while Drogheda have only lost three at Hunky Dorys Park
Drogheda United 7/10, Draw 12/5, Shelbourne 7/2
Drogheda have only got the league left to focus on and will throw everything at it, fitness shouldn’t be an issue, 2-0 to the Boynesiders
Drogheda United Injury News: None
Drogheda United Suspension News: Alan McNally
Shelbourne Injury News: Philly Hughes (Doubt)
Shelbourne Suspension News: Anto Murphy
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.