After suffering their first league defeat of the campaign on Friday, Dundalk will look to return to the top of the Premier Division table on Monday night with victory over St Patrick’s Athletic (kick-off 7.45pm).
Gearóid Morrissey scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half as City leapfrogged the Lilywhites into first place.
Dane Massey, who has captained Dundalk for much of the season in the absence of Stephen O’Donnell, rued his side’s missed chances in front of goal in that defeat to Cork City at Turners Cross.
“It was a disappointing result for us on Friday night,” Massey told the club’s official website.
“They only had two shots on target all night and one went in. That makes it even worse. It’s frustrating considering we had numerous chances on the night ourselves.
“We didn’t take our chances which was the difference. We hit the post twice. We had all of the ball and it’s just unfortunate that they didn’t fall for us on the night.
“It was a frustrating game to play in because of the way they play. They camp on the edge of their box and they play a very direct style. We knew that coming down here.
“We didn’t take our chances and we need to be more clinical in front of goal. We need to start taking our chances in the games if we want to win the league.”
Massey will be well aware of the challenge that St Pats pose, for it was his stoppage time equaliser in extra-time which allowed Dundalk to knock the Saints out of the EA Sports Cup on penalties three weeks ago – that was following a scoreless draw between the sides earlier in the league season.
“We have St Patrick’s Athletic now. We have played them twice already this season and they have both been very close games. They have both been draws in the two competitions so we want to win.
“They are a good side and we have seen that. It’s good to have a game this close after the loss to put things right so hopefully we can put in a good performance at Oriel and get back to winning ways.”
Dundalk are again without the services of Karolis Chvedukas due to an ankle injury while Sean Gannon, who was forced off in the defeat at Cork, faces up to six weeks out after fracturing two ribs.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
Liam Buckley’s side have not won in any of their previous seven league visits to Oriel Park, with their last five visits to the Louth venue all ending in defeat, conceding a wretched 18 goals in the process.
Pats threw away what would have been a priceless three points on Friday night in Inchicore against Bohemians, after Jake Keegan’s brace was cancelled out by a stoppage time leveller for Bohs.
Ryan Brennan was sent off for two bookable offence in the second half, before goals from Dinny Corcoran and Kevin Devaney earned a point for the Gypsies.
“I thought for the first 50 minutes of the game on Friday, there was only one team in the ascendancy and that was us,” Buckley said to the club’s official website.
“We started both halves really well with early goals, but unfortunately the sending off changed the game. Bohs were able to dominate possession after that and unfortunately, we just couldn't see it out.
“The players put in a huge effort and I was proud of their effort and commitment to get the result. Unfortunately though, we were dealt a sucker punch at the end.”
Despite their abysmal away record against Dundalk, Buckley and his players will no doubt take some confidence from their well-earned scoreless draw with the Lilywhites at Richmond Park last month.
“We have no time to dwell on the Bohs result as the focus is now on facing Dundalk on Monday evening.
“We will go through the normal process as we always do for games with a quick turnaround so the players will look to recover properly and we will be aiming to be right for kick-off on Monday.
“We have faced Dundalk twice this season and they've both finished in draws over 90 minutes. Stephen (Kenny) has added a lot of quality to his squad for this season so Dundalk will be strong whatever selections he makes.
“We have had a chance to see the video from their game last Friday against Cork and there was nothing in it.
“Dundalk will test us once again but we go there knowing we can compete against them and if we apply ourselves properly, there's no reason why we cannot get a result.”
Brennan misses out through suspension following his red card, while the fitness of both Owen Garvan and Christy Fagan will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
Dundalk haven’t lost a home league fixture to St Patrick’s Athletic since Stephen Kenny took over as manager – they have won six and drawn one of the seven encounters at Oriel Park since 2013.
Barry Murphy, Ian Bermingham and Christy Fagan are the only survivors from the last Pats team to record a league win at Oriel Park when Sean O’Connor got the game’s only goal in August 2012.
This will be 209th competitive meeting (third this season) of both clubs since their first ever encounter in the Leinster Senior Cup final of 1950 – a match in which Dundalk emerged 2-1 winners.
Dundalk 4/9; Draw 16/5; St Patrick’s Athletic 13/2
Dundalk 2-0 St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Sean Gannon, Karolis Chvedukas.
Doubtful: Brian Gartland.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Doubtful: Owen Garvan, Christy Fagan.
Suspended: Ryan Brennan.