St. Patrick's Athletic -v- UCD
- Damien Byrne
- Thu, Apr 19 2012
ST. PATRICK'S ATHLETIC
This will be St. Pat's first home league game since their 5-1 demolition derby against Shamrock Rovers on Good Friday. Since then they have met UCD in the EA Sports Cup game on Easter Monday, running out 2-1 winners in a close fought game.
Last time out in the league, Liam Buckley’s men drew 0-0 with Drogheda in Hunky Dory’s Park, their third successive draw on the road.
St. Pat's have won two home league games and drawn one thus far, and will look to add other win on Friday. The last time UCD beat the Saints in Inchicore, way back in November 2001, Ireland under 19 boss Paul Doolin, and Robbie Martin were on the score sheet, whilst Martin Russell lined out for the Saints.
Saints skipper and UCD player for five years Conor Kenna knows it will be a challenge. “While UCD will be tough opponents, we’re looking to bounce back with three points, we kept another clean sheet against Drogheda, and so if we can push on, hopefully we’ll get the win,” the centre half told stpatsfc.com.
Saints boss Liam Buckley also respects the challenge at hand, and the work of one of his former players.
"Martin continues to work wonders at UCD and he must really be commended for the work he does year in and year out. Like us, UCD try to keep the ball on the ground and play attractive football. We know that they’ll really put it up to us having played against them recently, so it should make for an entertaining game.”
Former UCD midfielder Greg Bolger also had praise for his old boss and Saints legend.
“Yeah I’d recommend the club to any young player who’s trying to make a name for themselves as, football-wise, you won’t get a better education anywhere else. I know I wouldn’t be half the player I am if it wasn’t for Martin Russell because I learned so much from him. With coaches like Diarmuid McNally there as well, it’s a great club for young players.”
Coupled with St. Pat’s good home form, UCD are without a win on the road this season. Having said that, in the most recent meeting of the two sides on Easter Monday, UCD were terribly unlucky not to get something from the game.
UCD boss Martin Russell stated he is looking forward to the challenge of St. Pat’s, whilst also agreeing with Liam Buckley’s recent comments about the state of some of the pitches in the league.
“We are looking forward to playing a strong St Pat’s side. I have to fully endorse what Liam Buckley said last week about the state of some of the pitches in the league, if we want the league to grow in all aspects then we need to look after the surfaces and ensure they are of a higher standard to allow teams to play good football.
"Surely as part of the licensing agreement there has to be a commitment to ensure clubs invest in their pitch, it is clearly the most important aspect involved in a football club. If we want the league to grow then we need to address this issue.”
Russell also added that he felt his side were unlucky against Bohemians, and they aim for all three points in Richmond on Friday.
“We are looking forward to playing a strong St Pat’s side. I have to fully endorse what Liam Buckley said last week about the state of some of the pitches in the league, if we want the league to grow in all aspects then we need to look after the surfaces and ensure they are of a higher standard to allow teams to play good football. Surely as part of the licensing agreement there has to be a commitment to ensure clubs invest in their pitch, it is clearly the most important aspect involved in a football club. If we want the league to grow then we need to address this issue.”
Two of St. Pat’s strongest performers thus far this campaign, Conor Kenna and Greg Bolger, learned their trade at UCD.
UCD have not beaten St. Pat’s in eleven years. Last time it happened, Martin Russell and Paul Doolin both played, with Doolin on the score sheet for UCD.
St Pats have not lost all season in the league, and they are unbeaten at home thus far.
Referee: Padraigh Sutton
St Pats 2/5 Draw 3/1 UCD 15/2
UCD will be a difficult game for St Pats, but the Inchicore men should come out with a win. 3-1.
St Patrick's Athletic injuries: Aidan Price
St Patricks Athletic suspensions: none
UCD injuries: Ger Barron, Mick Leahy
UCD suspensions: none
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