Tough task facing Waterford as they visit leaders Shamrock Rovers

Hoops keen to improve their impressive record of eight wins in ten league games

Jack Byrne: claimed  the Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for March following his fine displays for league leaders Shamrock Rovers. Photograph. Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jack Byrne: claimed the Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for March following his fine displays for league leaders Shamrock Rovers. Photograph. Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

The table might suggest it will be another good night for the league leaders but Alan Reynolds is hoping his Waterford side produce the sort of reaction required after last week’s defeat at Belfield to test Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght this evening.

“We were well beaten last week [by UCD] and we were all disappointed with it,” says the Waterford boss.

“The players were disappointed but Rovers are top at the moment so that creates another massive challenge for us, one that we relish. We’ve looked back over the UCD game and addressed different bits from it and we’ve built towards Friday’s game.”

Their opponents have been building a bit of momentum since the season’s kick-off with eight wins from 10 and some standout performances from the likes of Jack Byrne, whose particular contribution was recognised on Thursday with the Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month award for March.

He is likely to be a key player again on Friday evening and Ethan Boyle is available again but Dan Carr is a doubt for the home side while Kenny Browne is ruled out with an injury for the visitors.

Aaron Barry is expected to start for the suspended Rob Cornwall for Bohemians as they head to Ballybofey where Finn Harps will again be missing a long list of injured players including Harry Ascroft, Sean Boyd and Gareth Harkin. Colm Deasy is also suspended for the locals.

Dundalk, meanwhile, are still without Robbie Benson, Pat McEleney and Chris Shields for their visit to the Showgrounds although McEleney and Shields are edging closer to a return after having returned to full training this week. Sligo have Ronan Murray suspended while Ed McGinty is rated as a doubt.

Cork City will again be without Daire O’Connor and Colm Horgan as St Patrick’s Athletic come to Turner’s Cross while the Dublin club have Mikey Drennan back for a game before the striker starts the second, additional, part of a three-match suspension.

Conor Davis is a doubt for UCD, meanwhile, as they take on a Derry side that will be without the suspended Jamie McDonagh.

Fixtures (7.45 unless stated). Premier Division: Cork City v St Patrick’s Athletic; Sligo Rovers v Dundalk; UCD v Derry City; Finn Harps v Bohemians (8.0); Shamrock Rovers v Waterford (8.0). First Division: Cabinteely v Athlone Town, Drogheda United v Shelbourne, Galway United v Cobh Ramblers, Limerick v Wexford.

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