Bohs aim to get back to business

TOP takes on bottom this evening as a shortened League of Ireland Premier Division programme brings an end to the two-week break (all games kick off 7.45pm).

Leaders Bohemians travel to the Carlisle Grounds having ended the first half of the season on a high with a 2-0 victory over Sligo Rovers, while their hosts Bray lost 2-0 at Derry City.

Manager Pat Fenlon has a full squad to choose from, with the possible exception of Anto Murphy, whose training injury this week will be checked before a final decision is made on his fitness.

“Bray have a good home record, and they always want to come at the opposition,” said Fenlon. “They have good young players who won’t be too much in awe of our reputation.”

The Seagulls are currently bottom of the table on goal difference, however, they are only five points away from fifth place. Dave Mulcahy and Dane Massey are both suspended while there are also doubts about Dave Webster (ankle) and Chris Shields (heel).

Manager Eddie Gormley said: “It will be a tough assignment and it will be a difficult night for us but we will work hard and see what happens.”

Derry City are just a point behind Bohs but travel to Dundalk’s Oriel Park tonight without six first-teamers.

Stephen Kenny is deprived of Kevin Deery (calf), Barry Molloy (ankle) and Liam Kearney (leg) while Clive Delaney, Gareth McGlynn and Stephen Gray are all suspended.

“Obviously with the injuries and suspensions that we have it will be a challenge,” said Kenny. “But we have been very consistent of late keeping six clean sheets in a row. Dundalk are in good form themselves they’ve improved as the season has progressed and had a very good win in Cork.

“We’ve been playing well ourselves and it has all the makings of a good game. I’ve been pleased with Ger O’Brien since he returned from injury, he’s settled in well since his arrival from Rovers and his form at right back has given us a boost.”

Dundalk boss Sean Connor has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

In the remaining clash, Galway United host Cork City at Terryland Park with the visitors hoping to get back to winning ways after a disappointing run of games that culminated in a 1-2 defeat at home to Dundalk two weeks ago.

“The results weren’t great just prior to the break, so I think it came at a good time for us,” said City boss Paul Doolin.

“Over a league campaign of 36 games you will not always play well, but when you are not playing well you have got to hang in there and grind out results. The problem for us has been that we were making a lot of mistakes, and I would hope that after the break people will come back refreshed and we can cut those out.”

Joe Gamble returns from a knee injury, but Robert Mezeckis and Billy Dennehy remain sidelined. Davin O’Neill has returned to training this week, but is still some way off full fitness and is unlikely to feature. Shane Duggan will miss out because of suspension, while Timmy Kiely has picked up a knock on his ankle, but is likely to be available if required.

lIn last night’s League of Ireland First Division clash a Dave Freeman goal after 12 minutes gave Monaghan United a 1-0 victory over Limerick FC at Kingspan Century Park.

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