Fixture build up may hinder Dundalk’s growing ambitions of landing title

Leaders had hoped that key league game against Rovers would be played sooner

Dundalk's potentially key league game against Shamrock Rovers has been rescheduled for Monday, October 13th. The title chasers had hoped that the game might be played sooner.

Three other games involving FAI Cup semi-finalists have been set for September 30th with Shamrock Rovers versus UCD, postponed because of this weekend's EA Sports Cup final, St Patrick's Athletic against Bohemians and Bray Wanderers' meeting with Derry City all now due to be played that evening.

Wanderers are in action against St Patrick’s on Friday evening when Alan Mathews’s side will be aiming to avoid a third straight defeat against the defending champions.

The hosts have Ismahil Akinade, David Cassidy and Dave Scully available again while Michael Barker returns from suspension. Philly Hughes and Eric McGill miss the game through injury, however, while Rob Maloney is suspended.

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Liam Buckley's main problems revolve around Derek Foran (flu) and Kenny Browne (back) both of whom face late fitness tests. Aaron Greene comes back into the reckoning after having been cup-tied for the victory over Bohemians last week.

Bohemians manager Owen Heary took some consolation from the fight his players showed during the game when they ran St Patrick's pretty hard and believes that his side continues to progress to the extent that, having just been happy to stay up last season, they could push on up the table.

A visit to the bottom-placed team would seem like an opportunity to jump a couple of places but Athlone continue to battle to escape the drop and they’ll provide a tough test.

"The lads have shown a lot of character over the last few weeks," says Athlone manager Keith Long, who could be without John Mulroy (hamstring) and Mark Hughes (ankle).

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Industry and Employment Correspondent at The Irish Times