Already-relegated Bray Wanderers host Bohemians at the Carlisle Grounds as the Seagulls have nothing left but pride to play for in a bitterly disappointing year (kick-off 7.45pm).
Having been officially relegated against Sligo Rovers following a 2-1 defeat at the Showgrounds last time out, Gary Cronin’s Bray can now slowly start to rebuild confidence after a demoralising year in the Premier Division.
Since taking the job as Bray Wanderers manager, Cronin has presided over some improved showings.
However, the results have unfortunately not improved for the Seagulls as Cronin is yet to pick up a point under his management of the first-team squad.
The problems have been there for all to see for the Seagulls so far this term. A lack of goals coupled with a leaky defence didn’t exactly help the cause as the club were made to pay for the financial chaos that surrounded the club between May and July.
Since arriving in through the doors of the club, Niall O’Driscoll has lifted supporter morale around the Carlisle Grounds, as can be seen with an increased number of people coming through the turnstiles on a weekly basis.
However, a long road back to the Premier Division awaits Bray Wanderers, who must seek to rebuild the club in the First Division next term.
Bray Wanderers have not released any team news at time of writing.
Bohemians will look to build on last weekend’s dramatic penalty shootout success against English side Sutton United in the IRN-BRU Cup as they make the short trip down to Co. Wicklow.
After falling to two successive defeats against both Waterford and Cork City, the Gypsies' ten game unbeaten run came to a crashing halt as they fell to two successive defeats against Munster opposition in the space of three days.
With the game against Sutton a nice distraction to their domestic campaign, manager Keith Long was pleased that his side secured their route into the next stage of the competition after the FAI Cup defeat in Turners Cross.
“We looked on Saturday’s game as an opportunity to shake the disappointment of going out of the FAI Cup. We wanted a win to put that out of our minds as best we could.” Long said
“It was good to have a game against different opposition, against a team with a different style of play.
“We played very well in patches, but we looked tired towards the end, so we’re glad it went straight to penalties and there was no extra-time.
“We’re delighted to progress in the tournament, it’s something very different for the club but the players and supporters have bought into it.”
However, Bohs now have league matters to contend with as they face an already relegated Bray Wanderers side who are winless since their 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers in mid-July.
Long noted that he is taking nothing on his return to the Seaside after serving with such distinction at the Carlisle Grounds as a player and coach.
“We don’t take any opposition lightly. Bray may be down, but they are doing a lot of good work behind the scenes now and are in a better place as a club now.
“We have to focus on ourselves. We always bring a big crowd out to Bray and we want to get a result.
“We want to finish the season strongly and as high up the table as possible. We have to make sure we deliver a good performance and impose ourselves on the game.
“When we do that, we’re capable of beating any team in the league but the performance has to be right.”
Darragh Leahy misses out with a thigh strain while long-term absentees Ryan Swan and Ryan Masterson also both miss out for the Gypsies.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
The last encounter between these two sides ended in a comfortable 6-0 victory for Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
Former Seagull Daniel Kelly scored a brace alongside Christian Magerusan, Dinny Corcoran, Kevin Devaney and Rob Cornwall.
Bray’s last win over their North Dublin came all the way back in 2016 as John Sullivan and Ger Pender both scored for the Seagulls in 2-1 win for the Co. Wicklow side.
Keith Buckley scored a late consolation for the Gypsies on that occasion.
Bray Wanderers 11/2; Draw 7/2; Bohemians 2/5.
Bray Wanderers 0 – 2 Bohemians
Injured: Darragh Leahy, Ryan Swan, Ryan Masterson.