Bullish Pat’s boss Mahon wants to retain top spot

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC boss Pete Mahon has demanded that his side keep a hold of top spot in the Airtricity Premier Division when they take on Bohemians at Dalymount Park tonight (7.45pm).

Mahon knows Bohs can leapfrog both leaders Pat’s and second-placed Shamrock Rovers with victory.

“The last time we travelled to play Bohs at Dalymount, we were top of the table and came away in the same position. I want a repeat on Friday this evening,” said Inchicore boss Mahon.

“It is no use beating Bohemians and then losing three matches in a row. There will be a psychological advantage for the winners of this game — but there will be added pressure on Bohs as they are the home team.”

Pat’s will be without the injured Graham Coughlan, while Shane Guthrie has a fitness test on a calf injury. Gareth O’Connor and James O’Brien are added to the squad.

After the bitter disappointment of that Champions League exit at the hands of Welsh side TNS, Bohemians will be hoping to stretch their unbeaten nine-match domestic run.

They will again be without the injured Anto Murphy and Steven Gray, while striker Raffaele Cretaro has a late fitness test on a hip injury. With nine goals in 19 competitive games this season, fellow striker Paddy Madden will again attract the attention of a posse of English scouts. Bohs manager Pat Fenlon said: “I was very impressed with last week’s 3-0 away win against Bray Wanderers and then the 1-0 victory over Wolves at Dalymount Park. Games against St Pat’s this season have all been close affairs, and it will be the same this time.”

Bottom side Bray Wanderers will find themselves a massive 14 points behind second-from-bottom Drogheda United with defeat in tonight’s relegation clash at Hunky Dory Park (7.45pm). Drogheda may include new signing Robert Duggan in goal, but out of the reckoning are the injured Jamie Harris and Brendan McGill.

Bray have Chris Shields and Dave Brennan back after suspension, but still out injured are Richie Baker, Stephen Brennan and David Tyrrell.

UCD got back on the winning track with a 4-0 home win over Bray in their last league outing and will be hoping to add to their tally of scalps this season when they take on Galway United at the Belfield Bowl (7.45pm).

Graham Rusk (shin) is added to an injury list which includes Brian Shortall, Sean Harding and David McMillan. College are also without suspended midfielder Greg Bolger.

Manager Martin Russell was disappointed that none of his young players were included in the Airtricity League squad to meet Manchester United at the Aviva Stadium next Wednesday although the in-form Ciaran Kilduff is on the stand-by list.

Galway have Karl Sheppard back from suspension while Ciaran Foley returns to the squad.

nIN the Airtricity League First Division last night Athlone Town drew 1-1 with Waterford United.

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