ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Pat’s will head into tonight’s clash with Sligo Rovers fresh on the back of an unexpected fifteen-day break, following the postponement of last week’s fixture with Finn Harps.
The Saints will have the belated opportunity to banish the memory of the 4-0 defeat to Dundalk and consolidate their healthy position at the top end of the league table.
Manager Liam Buckley, speaking to the club’s website, reflected on the idea that this match presents an opportunity for redemption: "We've had some time to work on a few things following the defeat to Dundalk so the lads are just keen to get back out there and get playing. We're looking to bounce back so hopefully we can put on a performance and get the three points."
They will look to secure their second home victory of the season, while consigning Rovers to their third consecutive away defeat this season.
While the Inchicore men have been generally successful in this fixture over the years, the last time they faced Sligo Rovers in Inchicore they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat thanks to a brace from Dinny Corcoran. Corcoran, like David Cawley, however, has since departed the Bit O’Red and will line out against his former club for the first time.
Sligo Rovers are currently rooted to the bottom of the still-embryonic Airtricity League table, with Dave Robertson’s men awaiting their first win of the season.
Yet Rovers will be encouraged by their impressive performance against Cork City in the Showgrounds last Saturday; the Bit O’Red will be hoping to build on that when they make the trip to Dublin tonight, returning to the ground where they secured their Airtricity League survival last October.
The Rovers manager has expressed that he is looking forward to the challenge. Speaking to the club’s website, Robertson said; “What the performance against Cork did give us is a foundation from which to build on. We put to bed the bad 45 minutes we had against Bray Wanderers and moved on from it. Pat’s are a very good team and we will not be taken them lightly at all. They have threats all over the pitch and we will be giving them every respect.
“I think that Pat’s will give us a different challenge than what we have had before. It will be a possession based game. They have excellent quality and we will have to be prepared to deal with that and also concentrate on what we want to do ourselves. I definitely think it will be a good match to watch and whichever team asserts itself on the game more will come out on top.”
Referee: Neil Doyle
St Pat’s won five consecutive matches against Sligo before last season’s final fixture between these teams threw up Rovers’ first league win at Inchicore since October 2009.
Both teams have not scored in this fixture since 26 May 2011, or 1777 days. Pat’s won 2-1 on that day.
Sligo have drawn the most games of any team so far this season (3).
This will be Sligo’s first of four away games in the next 21 days in all competitions.
St Pat’s have won two and lost four of their last six league home games in Richmond Park.
St Patrick’s Athletic 8/15, Draw 11/4, Sligo Rovers 11/2.
St Patrick’s Athletic 2-0 Sligo Rovers
St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Conor O’Malley
Doubtful: Gavin Peers, Tim Clancy