Dundalk will play host to Shels in what promises to be a rip-roaring encounter in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division at Oriel Park tomorrow evening (KO 7.45pm).
Filippo Giovagnoli’s men will be looking to leapfrog Sligo Rovers into 3rd place in the Premier Division by beating Shelbourne on Friday night.
Dundalk hope to make it two wins on the bounce in all competitions after their recent 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers in the Extra.ie FAI Cup at St. Colman’s Park.
The Rams proved to be tough opposition for the away side in the opening exchanges, but that extra bit of quality that the Premier Division side possessed was the telling factor in the end.
A thunderbolt from Dane Massey after 29 minutes and a second from David McMillan from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time was enough to comfortably seal the Lilywhites’ passage into the quarter-finals.
The result was never really in doubt and Cobh rarely threatened to breach the Dundalk defence throughout the 90 minutes.
The victory for the Lilywhites was their first win in 4 matches in all competitions and arrested a run of two successive defeats having lost 3-1 to Sligo Rovers in their last league match at the Showgrounds and losing 3-0 to Slovakian champions NK Celje in the first qualifying round of the Champions League previously.
Shels will make the short journey up the M1 with ambitions of taking something back with them to the capital.
Ian Morris’ side have acquitted themselves well to life back in the top flight and will be looking to capitalise on their solid start.
The Drumcondra side were left bitterly disappointed last time out when they drew 1-1 against Cork City last Saturday afternoon at Tolka Park.
Shels made the perfect start to the game and took a very early lead thanks to a Dayle Rooney goal after just four minutes.
The home side exerted control over their opponents and dominated the rest of the half but could not extend their slender advantage before the break.
It was a different tale in the second half with the half-time team talk having the desired effect on the Leesiders who produced a much improved performance and deservedly grabbed an equaliser from Deshane Dalling in the 74th minute to earn a share of the spoils.
The result extended Shelbourne’s unbeaten run to four matches having previously beaten Galway United 5-2 in the Extra.ie FAI Cup at Eamonn Deacy Park and drawing 0-0 against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
Dundalk and Shelbourne have already met eachother once already this season in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division with the Lilywhites coming out 2-1 winners at Tolka Park back in February.
The Lilywhites and Shels have met each other on 22 occasions in all competitions since 2007 with Dundalk having the superior head to head record with 14 wins to Shelbourne’s 5 and there have been 3 draws.
Dundalk scored 33 goals in the 22 matches averaging 1.5 per game and Shelbourne scored 17 goals averaging 0.8 per game.
Dundalk 2/5; Draw 16/5; Shelbourne 6/1.
Dundalk 2-1 Shelbourne