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Bohemians will hope to build on an outstanding performance in Drogheda last week when they welcome St. Patrick’s Athletic to Dalymount Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Bohs’ 4-1 success over the Boynesiders saw Keith Long’s men consolidate sixth place in the table and leaves the Phibsboro side hot on the heels of Bray Wanderers, who are now just two points ahead.
Long is taking nothing for granted as he looks down rather than up, telling the club's website: “We’re not safe yet, despite what some may say. We still need points and we want to finish the season as strongly as possible.”
Bohs currently have seven points in hand on their Dublin rivals but Pat’s have a game in hand, albeit against Shamrock Rovers (at home, this coming Monday).
“The complexion of the league table will change again tomorrow night. It’s up to us to look after our own result and our own performance to make sure we don’t get dragged down.”
A bumper Dalyer attendance is anticipated for Bohs’ final Dublin derby of the season.
“It’s a big game, a good game to be involved in. They’re going to come here looking to win and so are we. It should be a good spectacle.”
Long was delighted with his team’s response to the challenge he threw down after some Bohs’ profligacy during their 1-1 home stalemate with Galway United on 1st September.
He could have no complaints with some Goal of the Season contenders during the Drogheda match, which was highlighted by a Keith Ward hat-trick and a sublime long range Dinny Corcoran lob.
“Wardy was on fire and Dinny’s goal was top notch. We asked the players to be more clinical and to deliver a 90-minute performance and they did.
“It’s not an easy place to go to, despite Drogheda’s position in the table. But it’s a different proposition tomorrow and we have to deliver another good performance.”
Oscar Brennan is suspended following his red card against Drogheda while Dylan Hayes and Eoin Wearen are injured.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St. Patrick’s Athletic enter this tie following three weeks of inactivity since their 6-0 away loss to Dundalk at the start of September.
“We've had a bit of a break without a game so this first game back against Bohemians is one the players are looking forward to,” manager Liam Buckley told the club's website.
“With it being a Dublin Derby, the players need no motivation and from past fixtures we know that it can go either way against Bohs so we need to really be at it from the start."
Ironically, Pats were doing well at Oriel Park on September 1st until a penalty award and a red card changed things just before half-time.
Experienced midfielder Killian Brennan is under no misapprehensions about the task faced by his Inchicore side.
"We've had plenty of training sessions since the Dundalk game to try and work on the things we didn't do right,” he said.
“At the same time, we've seen a few teams around us pick up points so we know we've to go out and get some results. That hopefully starts against Bohemians on Friday."
Brennan picked-up two league winners medals with Bohemians during his spell in Gypsies colours between 2008 and 2011.
However, nobody knows better than the much travelled 34-year-old that he and his St. Pat’s colleagues must perform against his former side if they are to pick up a result.
"Yeah, I'd good times at Bohs but that's going back a few years now.
“We'll be under no illusions, it be won't be easy on Friday and it's going to be a tight game. Bohs are in good form and I saw them last week and they managed to put four past Drogheda.”
"With it being a Dublin Derby too, you know it's going to be a hard game. But it's a game we need to win as we need to start getting points on the board as it is getting tight around the bottom."
Barry Murphy and Darren Dennehy are both injured but Buckley has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from.
Referee: Ben Connolly.
The sides last met at Dalymount Park at the end of March. Conan Byrne scored either side of half-time for the visitors. Christy Fagan and Kurtis Byrne were also on the mark as Pat’s romped to an unlikely 4-0 win. It’s one of just two away victories for Liam Buckley’s men all season.
Bohs exacted revenge for that home loss when they crafted a come from behind 3-1 win at Richmond Park in June, courtesy of second half strikes by Oscar Brennan, top scorer Dinny Corcoran and Georgie Poynton. Alex O’Hanlon had given Pat’s a first-half lead.
Of the ten meetings between the sides in all competitions since September 2014, St. Pat’s have won six while Bohs have won four.
Last five league matches: Bohemians WDLDW; St. Patrick’s Athletic LWDWW.
Bohemians 17/10; St. Patrick’s Athletic 13/8; Draw 9/4.
Bohemians 2-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Dylan Hayes (hip), Eoin Wearen (cruciate).
Suspended: Oscar Brennan.
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Barry Murphy, Darren Dennehy.
Suspended: Ian Bermingham.