Hoops face test from students

THE top three are in action in the Airtricity League Premier Division tonight, with leaders Shamrock Rovers looking to maintain their five-point advantage over both St Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians.

At Tallaght Stadium (8pm) Rovers face UCD, having put four past Bray on Friday, the perfect response, according to their manager, to their exit from the EA Sports Cup at the hands of Sligo Rovers.

Michael O’Neill said: “The players didn’t let that defeat affect them, and got on with doing the job in hand. And they did it very effectively. We have a chance now to finish off the third round of games very strongly. If we win tonight we will have taken 25 points out of a possible 27 in this quarter. But we are just taking this game by game.”

Craig Sives (groin), Dessie Baker (Achilles) and Pat Sullivan (knee) are out through injury. But while there are also doubts about Dan Murray, Stephen Bradley and Gary Twigg – who all picked up knocks in the game against Bray – O’Neill expects them to be available for selection. Looking to take advantage of any slip-up by the Hoops will be St Pats, who travel to Morton Stadium to take on Sporting Fingal, and champions Bohemians who are away to Drogheda United in Hunky Dorys Park (Both 7.45pm). Meanwhile Wexford Youths drew 1-1 with Shelbourne yesterday at Ferrycarrig Park. The hosts should have taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Muzzi Mullen played a ball across the face of the goal but Gary Sheehan shot tamely at Dean Delaney. The deadlock was broken in the 33rd minute when a David Cassidy free kick was headed down by Ian Ryan for Stephen Paisley to knock home at the far post. Two minutes into additional time Danny Furlong had a shot saved by keeper Delaney but Greg Yelverton was on hand to bundle the ball over the line for a stunning equaliser.

On Saturday night Athlone Town defeated Mervue 1-0.

WEXFORD YOUTHS: P Holden; M Kehoe, A Russell, A Wolfe, D Broaders; D O’Flynn, B Ryan (G McCurtain 81), G Yelverton, M Mullen (D Furlong 60), G Sheehan, K Rowe (R Dempsey 60).

SHELBOURNE: D Delaney; R Scully, G Coughlan (M Coburn 65), I Ryan, S Paisley, P Shields , D McGill, D Cassidy, P Gorman, B Farrell (C O’Brien 58), M Hughes (M Leech 89).

Referee: J. McKell.

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