Derry defiant as they head to Dundalk for ‘winnable’ game
The Candystripes are chasing a European spot and want to avenge early season 5-0 loss
Derry City manager Kenny Shiels has said hsi team are more fatigued than Dundalk despite the latter’s Europa League adventure. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Having suggested last week that his Derry City side is actually more fatigued than Dundalk, Kenny Shiels’ men went some way towards making a case for the claim by struggling in Wexford on Monday and if City go down badly tonight even Stephen Kenny might be happy enough to concede a point.
City lost 5-0 the last time these two met but did well to earn their point at Oriel earlier in the season and with the visitors now firmly fixed on qualification for Europe, Ger Doherty insisted this week that this game is “winnable”.
It would be quite a victory with the points moving City a significant step closer to that coveted third spot and also providing a major boost to confidence ahead of next week’s cup semi-final between the two sides at the same venue.
Brian Gartland, predictably, is up for it too with Dundalk aiming to stretch their lead again at the top before switching their focus back to Europe and Maccabi Tel Aviv’s visit next week Thursday night.
“It will be a different game (to the 5-0),” he says. “It was quite open up there but it’s a different type of pitch, a different scenario. It will be a tight game, they are well organised, they have done very well this season, they have shown they can win home and away but it’s up to us to go out and work for the three points.”
Kenny is close to having a full squad again with Darren Meenan and Ciaran O’Connor the only doubts but after a draw with Shamrock Rovers in which his side conceded a terrible goal then failed to take their own chances, he will be looking for improvement around both goals tonight.
Towards the other end of the table, Finn Harps could certainly with creating the odd chance and scoring at least one with the Donegalmen having gone eight games now without a goal. Sean Houston was the last Harps player to score, in a win over Galway at the start of July, but he is suffering from a wrist injury ahead of tonight’s game with St Patrick’s Athletic and Ollie Horgan is again without a string of other players, including Josh Mailie who has departed to college in England. Barry Molloy, meanwhile, is a doubt.
That run of defeats has allowed Wexford Youths make modest inroads into Harps’ lead over them in the table and the gap could potentially be reduced to just one point this evening if they can beat Bray at Ferrycarrig Park. The hosts are boosted by the availability of Lee Chin, who Shane Duggan has said will be involved, while the visitors are hampered by the absence through suspension of key players Dylan Connolly and John Sullivan.
Rovers, meanwhile, have Trevor Clarke back for the visit of Galway while Brandon Miele and Craig Hyland face late fitness tests.
Fixtures (7.45 unless stated)
Bohemians v Longford Town
Home: 8/13, Draw: 11/4, Away: 4/1.
Dundalk v Derry City
Home: 4/11, Draw: 7/2, Away: 7/1
Finn Harps v St Patrick’s Athletic (8.0)
Home: 7/2, Draw: 12/5, Away: 4/5.
Shamrock Rovers v Galway United (8.0)
Home: 8/11, Draw: 5/2, Away: 7/2.
Wexford Youths v Bray Wanderers (8.0)
Home: 13/5, Draw: 23/10, Away: Evens.
Athlone Town v Drogheda United
Home: 6/1, Draw: 7/2, Away: 1/3.
Cabinteely v Drogheda United
Home: 6/1, Draw: 7/2, Away: 1/3.
Shelbourne v Limerick
Home: 5/1, Draw: 7/2, Away: 2/5.
Betting courtesy of Paddy Power