Draw against Bray Wanderers will be enough to see Bohemians in the clear
Manager Bobby Browne says survival is far from assured just yet
St Pat’s captain Conor Kenna celebrates at the end of the Sligo game.
Despite his first impression when coming in as interim manager last month that Bohemians aren’t “a relegation team”, Bobby Browne says he’s been hammering home to his players this week that their survival is far from assured just yet.
Defender Neil Yadolahi’s stoppage-time equaliser against Dundalk last Saturday looked to have all but secured Bohemians’ place in next year’s top flight.
However, Bray Wanderers, tonight’s visitors to Dalymount Park, scuppered that less than 24 hours later to ignite their own revival with a 1-0 home win over Limerick at the Carlisle Grounds.
That first victory in 15 games saw Bray leapfrog Shelbourne three points off the foot of the table.
And while a draw will be enough to see Bohemians completely in the clear, Shelbourne’s subsequent defeat at Limerick on Wednesday means that Bray now need just one point from their remaining two games to avoid finishing bottom. A scenario that will automatically relegate Shelbourne.
“It’s not done and dusted,” said Browne. “We’ve lots of points on board from playing well, but we still need another point. It’s going to be a battle, a dog-fight. There might not be much football in it, but we have to roll up our sleeves and dig out a result.”
An ankle injury suffered last week means midfielder Dave Mulcahy is a major doubt for Bohemians who remain without central defender Anto Murphy due to illness. Midfielder Ryan Coombes returns for Bray who add Seán Noble and Seán Hurley to their squad.
Requiring a result
Almost certainly requiring a result or two themselves to secure fourth place and a potential Europa League spot, Derry City manager Declan Devine admits to being thankful that newly-crowned champions St Patrick’s Athletic need nothing from tonight’s clash at Richmond Park, after which the Inchicore side will be presented with the league trophy and medals.
“But,” said Devine, “knowing Liam Buckley and a lot of their players, they’ll be very professional in their approach and determined to finish off the season with a couple of wins.
“They’ll obviously play with no pressure. They’ll play with a freedom and a swagger, I would imagine. ”
Leading scorer Rory Patterson (hamstring) and midfielder Ruaidhri Higgins (hip) are big injury concerns for Derry, who continue without the long-term injured Stewart Greacen, Thomas Crawley, Kevin Deery and Seán Houston.
Save for broken leg victim Stephen Maher, St Patrick’s are injury and suspension free.
With Sligo Rovers not playing until tomorrow, Dundalk, who are without suspended winger Darren Meenan, can further cement second place with a home win over Cork City. The visitors welcome captain Dan Murray back from suspension.
Gareth Matthews, Hugh Douglas and Aymen Ben Mohammed are injury absentees for third-bottom UCD as they, at this juncture, look for three points to see them safe when Shamrock Rovers visit the UCD Bowl. Conor McCormack and Ken Oman are suspended for Rovers who effectively need to win to remain in the hunt for fourth spot.