ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
The topsy-turvy season for the Saints continues on Friday (kick-off 7.45 p.m.) when the Inchicore side play host to third placed Waterford in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
The clubs experienced contrasting fortunes in last weekend’s Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup second round matches.
Liam Buckley’s men battled well in the tie of the round, against Derry City at the Brandywell, only to be undone by Adrian Delap’s 80th minute winner.
Ian Turner spurned a late chance to equalise from the penalty spot as Candystripes skipper Ger Doherty made a vital save. There was an ironic twist to Turner’s miss as the former Cork City and Limerick man has been introduced as a substitute for Conan Byrne, having been subbed off in the previous round against Inchicore Athletic to allow Byrne on to convert a penalty.
Pat’s are seeking a third unbeaten league game on the trot, having followed up a routine win over bottom club Bray Wanderers with a fine performance to earn a draw against reigning champions Cork City at Turner’s Cross.
"We have still got a lot to play for in the league so we have got to put last week's disappointment behind us and be ready for what will be a tough game against Waterford,” St. Pat’s manager Liam Buckley told the club’s media team.
“They have had a good season to date and have shown a lot over the course of the season.”
Pat’s have lost on both visits to the RSC this season but a Ryan Brennan strike gave them victory in the previous clash at Richmond Park back in April.
"We had two tough games down there, but put in one of our best performances of the season against them in Inchicore and picked up a 1-0 win so we know we are capable of getting the points," was Buckley’s assessment.
Waterford remain in third place in the table but their advantage over Shamrock Rovers is down to a single point after the Hoops’ dramatic late away win over the league leaders Dundalk on Tuesday night.
Waterford battled to a valuable 1-0 win at United Park against Drogheda in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup last week. Bastien Hery’s fourth minute long range shot was enough to send the Blues through against Drogheda, who are riding high in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and had lost just once before at home all season.
Speaking to club’s media team this week, Waterford boss Alan Reynolds expressed his satisfaction with the Drogheda result.
“(I was) very happy to progress to the quarter finals of the cup last weekend. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we scored early and did enough to see off a good Drogheda team.”
With a place in the last eight of the Cup secured, Reynolds and his charges now turn their attention again to their league position. “This week we’ve switched back the focus to the league and we know what we need to do. Liam (Buckley) will have his side ready for another tight game and we need to expect that – you won’t get much in Richmond Park.”
“We’ll have Sander (Puri) back and Courtney (Duffus) too so that’s a positive but we’ll be missing a few who are still injured. But we’ll go there to play our game. We’ve got ourselves in a great position in the league so we’ll be fighting to stay there.”
First half goals from Dessie Hutchinson and captain Gavan Holohan secured a 2-1 win for Waterford against Derry in the Blues’ last league outing. That was Waterford’s first in the league since June and ended a run of three successive defeats for Reynolds’ men.
Referee: Ben Connolly
The last meeting between the sides at Richmond Park in April produced two red cards. Both were shown to Waterford players in the second -half. Sandor Puri was first to walk and he was later followed by Gavan Holohan.
There was another penalty miss for Pat’s in that match. Jake Keegan firing just wide after a foul on Ryan Brennan.
Both encounters at the RSC this season produced 2-0 wins for the home side. Bastien Hery and Kenny Browne were on the mark for Waterford in February while Courtney Duffus and Ismahil Akinade netted in June.
There was another red card in the latter match. Pat’s Kevin Toner was dismissed after just fifteen minutes.
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES
St. Patrick’s Athletic: LWLWD
St. Patrick’s Athletic 1/1; Draw 12/5; Waterford 11/5.
St. Patrick’s Athletic 1 – 1 Waterford
St. Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Christy Fagan (knee).
Injured: Noel Hunt (groin), Cory Galvin (knee), Derek Daly (groin), John Martin (ankle), Stanley Aborah (knee).
Suspended: Garry Comerford.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: An early long-range strike from Bastien Hery sealed a passage through to the last eight of the FAI Cup for Waterford FC after a 1-0 win away to Drogheda United last Friday. https://t.co/uJLEiXHh0Z— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) August 28, 2018