Injury pile-up as Drogs face Derry

HAVING finally gained their first win in six with a 1-0 victory away to Waterford United in the eircom Premier League, Derry City will have to go at least one better tonight if they are to overhaul Drogheda United and claim a semi-final berth in the Setanta Cup.

Trailing Drogheda by three points in third place in Group 1, Pat Fenlon’s men go to United Park knowing that they must beat the Drogs by at least two goals if they are to join table-toppers Linfield in the final four of this year’s competition.

After what has been a torrid start to the season for the Candystripes, the visitors will go into this evening’s game boosted by a timely win and also knowing that Drogheda boss Paul Doolin has his share of injury worries ahead of the game.

Defender Graham Gartland is the latest concern after he injured an ankle in Friday’s 3-0 win against Sligo Rovers.

Said Doolin: “We’ve had a terrible run with Graham joining Jason Gavin, Shane Barrett, Richie Baker and Dan Connor in the treatment room. But we just have to cope with the situation and the players were excellent in the victory against Sligo.”

The game at United Park (ko 8.05pm) will be shown live on Setanta Sports.

In the other game in Group 1, basement side Glentoran play for nothing but pride when they meet arch-rivals Linfield who, leading Drogheda by a point, are already sure of a place in the semi-finals.

However, the Blues need a win at The Oval to be sure of home advantage in the semi-finals.

“A few players are carrying knocks and we will have to assess their condition before deciding our line-up for the game,” said manager David Jeffrey. “It is an important game for us as we don’t want to be travelling away for our semi-final.”

Meanwhile, in the League Cup this evening, Bohemians manager Sean Connor could start Harpal Singh for the first time this season in the rearranged fixture against Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park. Centre-half Liam Burns also looks set to feature having recovered from concussion.

Said Connor: “I can rest some players without weakening my starting team. Putting players like Fergal Harkin, Mark Rossiter and Darren Mansaram in will not dilute our quality.

“I want to carry the form from last Friday, which saw us take the game to St Pats, into the cup tie,” he said.

“Progress in the League Cup is important because of the Setanta Cup qualification possibilities,” he added.

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