Marc Griffin calls on Drogheda to be wary of ‘a dangerous lead’
Pete Mahon’s side lead Cobh 2-0 in advance of First Division play-off second leg
Marc Griffin: “Hopefully, it all comes right and we can push on and play Wexford on Monday night.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Dundalk will be presented with the SSE Airtricity League championship trophy after their game with Galway United at Oriel Park tonight.
Just over 20 miles down off the M1 at United Park, their Louth neighbours Drogheda United will, by that time, hope to have moved a step closer to their return to the Premier Division next season.
Pete Mahon’s side bring a 2-0 first leg lead into their First Division play-off return with Cobh Ramblers as Wexford Youths await the winners in the promotion-relegation play-off first leg at Ferrycarrig Park on Monday night.
“It’s a dangerous lead,” says ex-Dundalk striker Marc Griffin, scorer of Drogheda’s opening goal in Cobh last Saturday night, of their advantage.
“The first goal will be vital. The way we look at it is to go in as if it was 0-0 from the first leg. Hopefully, it all comes right and we can push on and play Wexford on Monday night.”
With a league winner’s medal from his time at his home town club from the first of their three-in-row titles in 2014, Griffin is keen to gain promotion and face his former team-mates and friends in the top flight next season.
“You can’t be envious. I was part of some of the success at the start,” said Griffin of the further glory Dundalk have achieved since he left at the end of that season.
“I was happy to have been there at that time as it drove me on as a player under such a good manager with such good players there.
“I’d have nothing but admiration for the boys. They’re my best friends. When they get all the [bonus] money, I can now get a loan off them! I’m happy for them. They’ve done it on and off the pitch in the right way, so they deserve everything they get.”
As is effectively the case in all six Premier Division games tonight, with nothing at stake for his side away to Sligo Rovers, Wexford Youths’ manager Shane Keegan will be an interested spectator in Drogheda.
“We’ve pretty much a full squad to choose from, but there will be changes made given we’ve a huge game on Monday night,” said Keegan of the side destined for the Showgrounds.
“We had a couple of under-19s in the starting 11 against Cork last Monday and we might have another one or two making their debut.”
With next week’s trip to Zenit St Petersburg and the FAI Cup final in mind, Dundalk manger Stephen Kenny will again rotate his squad to face Galway.
Dane Massey is free of suspension, though captain Stephen O’Donnell continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Likewise, as they step up their preparations for the forthcoming clash with Dundalk at the Aviva, Cork City will not risk key players against Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
Friday’s fixtures (7.45) Premier Division
Bray Wanderers v Cork City, Home: 13/8; Draw: 12/5; Away: 6/4 Dundalk v Galway United, Home: 2/5; Draw: 7/2; Away: 13/2. Finn Harps v Bohemians – Home: 23/10; Draw: 12/5; Away: 11/10. Longford Town v Shamrock Rovers – Home: 9/2; Draw: 10/3; Away: 1/2. Sligo Rovers v Wexford Youths – Home: 1/6; Draw: 11/2; Away: 12/1. St Patrick’s Athletic v Derry City – Home: 13/10; Draw: 5/2; Away: 9/5.
First Division Play-off (second leg)
Drogheda United (2) v Cobh Ramblers (0) – Home: 4/6; Draw: 13/5; Away: 7/2.