Dundalk -v- Bray WanderersFri, Oct 26 2012
While it may be the final game of the regular Airtricity League season, Dundalk unfortunately have a two legged promotion/relegation playoff next week. Having not won since May 21st and with only one home game all season, most Dundalk fans will be delighted to see the end of the season.
With nothing to play for on the last day of the season, manager Darius Kierans may use this weekend’s match as an opportunity to experiment ahead of the tie against Waterford United or Longford Town next week.
Dundalk will be without Derek Foran, John Mountney, Gary Shanahan and Paul Walsh through injury while Bob McKenna is rated as doubtful and Stephen Maher is ruled out through suspension. Eoghan Osborne could return to the fold following suspension although it is expected that the Lilywhites will rest a number of players with the playoff in mind.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com ahead of the game, Dundalk boss Darius Kierans stated that he will give the younger players an opportunity to show what they can do and admitted that the playoff is naturally enough at the forefront of his thoughts.
“We will play some of the younger players, give them an opportunity and see what they can do. At the same time, in an ideal scenario, you would like a positive result to bring forward into the play-off.
“We will approach the game in a positive manner and see where it goes but there’s no doubt having everyone fit and available for Tuesday is the main thing.”
Having staved off relegation for another season, finding themselves eight points clear of their opponents in 10th place in the Airtricity League table. The job that they set out to do has been done and The Seagulls will travel to Oriel Park looking to end the season on a high note with victory in the final match of the season.
The visitors will have to plan without the injured Conor Earley, John Mulroy and Ishmahel Akinade while Dave Webster is suspended. Adam Mitchell and Dane Massey return to the squad following suspension last week.
Speaking in the press release ahead of the match, Director of Football, Pat Devlin, spoke of his disappointment that his side lost their final home match of the season but is hopeful of making up for it by claiming victory in County Louth.
“We need to finish on a strong note, it won't be easy, it will be tough but we are looking forward to it"
Referee: Derek Tomney
Dundalk’s last home victory over Bray Wanderers was on June 5th 2009. Dundalk ran out 3-0 winners that day. Since then the Seagulls have amassed three victories and three draws in their subsequent meetings in Oriel Park, including their most recent meeting in May when Jason Byrne scored twice to secure a 2-0 victory for the Seagulls.
Dundalk are on the brink of equalling a club record of 19 league matches without a win which was set over two seasons – 2003-2004. Failing to secure a victory against Bray will see them match that record.
Both sides have the worst goal difference in the league with Bray Wanderers on -20 while Dundalk have a staggering -41.
Dundalk 5/2, Draw 5/2, Bray Wanderers 5/6.
A typical end of season match to end in a 0-0 draw.
Dundalk injury news: Derek Foran, Paul Walsh (both groin), Gary Shanahan (ankle) and John Mountney (appendix).
Dundalk suspension news: Stephen Maher.
Bray Wanderers injury news: Conor Earley (knee), John Mulroy (ankle) and Ismahil Akinade (groin)
Bray Wanderers suspension news: Dave Webster.