Pat’s manager Mahon motivated by cup final defeat

THE pick of the bunch in the Airtricity League tonight sees a re-run of the Setanta Cup Final with St Patrick’s Athletic hosting Bohemians at Richmond Park in front of the live Setanta Ireland cameras (kick-off 7.45pm).

Currently a point behind joint leaders Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers but with a game in hand, Pat’s will be anxious to make up for their cup final defeat.

“It’s a great opportunity to come back from the disappointment of last week,” said manager Pete Mahon. “We respect Bohemians as league champions but we don’t fear them, I’m expecting a good performance and a win.”

Midfielder David McAllister is suspended, club captain Damian Lynch is out with a hamstring injury and Brian Cash also misses out with a thigh strain. Conor Kenna has recovered from a recent illness and Mahon is hopeful that striker Paul Byrne will be available after a recent knee injury.

Bohemians boss Pat Fenlon has two players sidelined through suspension – Raffaele Cretaro and Gareth McGlynn – while Ken Oman, Steven Gray and Aaron Greene are out through injury. Jason Byrne and Anto Murphy face fitness tests after taking knocks in the Setanta Cup final.

In another big Dublin derby, joint-leaders Shamrock Rovers welcome fourth-placed Sporting Fingal to the Tallaght Stadium (8pm) while elsewhere pace-setters Dundalk host Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park (7.45pm), Galway United are at home to UCD (7.45pm) and in a bottom of the table battle Bray Wanderers take on Drogheda United at the Carlisle Grounds (7.45pm), as the visitors begin life after Alan Mathews under the stewardship of interim manager, Darius Kierans.

In the First Division, it’s Munster derby time again as second-placed Waterford United take on fourth-placed Cork City Foras Co-op at the RSC (7.45).

The Blues are smarting from last week’s late, late defeat to Wexford Youths and a performance which manager Stephen Henderson condemned as the “worst by a Waterford team since I came to the club”.

Waterford have a number of defensive concerns tonight, with John Hayes definitely out with an ankle injury, Kevin Murray rated at no better than 50-50 as he recovers from a torn hamstring and Seamus Long a probable starter despite an ankle strain.

For Cork, the goal will be to resume where they left off last Friday after a strong second-half performance saw them share the spoils with leaders Derry City at Turner’s Cross.

Waterford claimed a 2-0 win when the sides met in the second game of the season, but City manager Tommy Dunne expects a different sort of game tonight.

“Waterford were very tough opponents when we faced them at Turner’s Cross and, if anything, they will be even tougher with home advantage,” he said. “That said, I believe we are a different proposition now to what we were at that early stage, and while I anticipate a tough game, I believe we are capable of getting a positive result.”

Midfielder Gearóid Morrissey, who missed the Derry game with a groin injury, is unlikely to be risked at the RSC but Dunne is hopeful that Greg O’Halloran, who is also nursing a groin strain, will be fit to feature.

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