Bohemians will be looking to return to winning ways when they face Drogheda United at Dalymount Park, kickoff 7.45pm.
The Gypsies have suffered three successive defeats since they were surprise victors against Cork City last month and have failed to score in each of the subsequent outings against Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and UCD respectively.
The result against the Students was particularly hard to take considering the number of chances that Bohs created and missed at the UCD Bowl.
"We played very well, but just didn't take our chances,” manager Owen Heary admitted. “The longer the game went on, the more frustrated we got in front of goal. These things happen in games - the positive thing is we kept a clean sheet - but we were still disappointed that we didn't take our chances and win the game comfortably."
Despite having only found the back of the net ten times in front of their home crowd this season, Heary remains convinced that it is only a matter of time before the goals flow for his side.
"We'll keep plugging away. We've proved earlier in the season that we can score goals. The good thing is that we are creating chances (as against UCD), so hopefully we can take a few and come away with the three points on Friday."
Bohemians left United Park empty handed earlier in the season and the 37-year-old Dubliner is anticipating another testing clash with the visit of Drogheda.
"I expect a tough, physical game," he said. "But I'm sure that we can respond after a good performance last week and try get the win. We dominated the game up there in May, had loads of chances, but they got the goal.”
The Gypsies will be without midfielder Eoin Wearen, who has picked up a one-match ban having accumulated four yellow cards while Anto Murphy will be missing having dislocated his ankle against UCD last Friday.
Drogheda are in fine form of late as they seem to have eased any relegation fears with seven points from the last nine available which has seen them rise to level on points with tonight’s opponents.
United held league leaders Dundalk in a typically feisty Louth derby last Friday and manager Damien Richardson believes that his side were unfortunate not to emerge victorious.
“I felt that we were more than worthy of a point against Dundalk,” Richardson expressed. “As the second half progressed, I thought we looked the more likely to win the game but the performance was very encouraging. There was a good vibrancy about our display which was more pleasing than anything else and that gives me great hope for the weeks that remain. Results are fantastic when they come but the key to a good future is consistently good performances and we are now getting that from the players.”
Drogheda fell behind to a 19th minute header from Pat Hoban and while many may have expected the floodgates to open, the hosts leveled straight from kickoff through Gary O’Neill’s stunning strike.
“To equalise immediately after falling behind showed the character that this group of players have. I don’t think Dundalk were used to that; as league leaders you generally have everything go your own way. I’m trying to instill confidence into this side and positive results are the key to this. I know that the supporters loved the game last week and I hope that they went home thinking that maybe this team are starting to realise their true potential.”
Richardson is no stranger to Dalymount Park with 20 years of experience in Irish football and the former Cork City manager has challenged his side to return home with all three points.
“I know that Dalymount is never an easy venue from my many trips there as a player and as a manger. You always have to produce your best to leave with a result and I’m sure tomorrow night will be no different. I am expecting a tight game as the league table would suggest but there is no point in being ambiguous about it, we are going there looking for a win.”
Stephen Maher will be missing once again for Drogheda as he continues his recovery from injury. The former St. Pat’s man visited a specialist yesterday and the Club hope that he can return to training in a fortnight while Michael Daly was forced off early in the Louth Derby due to an ankle injury and the midfielder is doubtful having not trained all week.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
Bohemians have won only one game at home all season, a 2-0 win over Cork City.
Drogheda won the reverse fixture 1-0 courtesy of a Carl Walshe striker while the sides played out a 2-2 draw in Dalymount Park in the second game of the season.
The Gypsies last defeated Drogheda in September 2011, eight games ago.
Bohemians 23/20, Draw 9/4, Drogheda United 9/4.
Bohemians 1-2 Drogheda United
Injured: Anto Murphy
Suspended: Eoin Wearen
Injured: Stephen Maher
Doubtful: Michael Daly