Rovers in mood for revenge against Bray

SHAMROCK ROVERS will be hoping to at least keep their two-point lead at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division when they take on Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds tonight (7.45).

Bray are the only side to have defeated the champions in their 13 league games this season when recording a 1-0 victory at Tallaght Stadium last April.

Rovers manager Michael O’Neill now wants to avenge that defeat.

“We have a full strength squad for the first time this season with no injuries or suspensions, so that is a real boost for us. Bray are the only to have beaten us this season, so we will be going all out to make up for that,” said O’Neill.

Bray will be without the injured Darren Quigley, Gary Shaw and Stephen Brennan while striker Conor Murphy is on U19 international duty for the Republic of Ireland in Poland. There will also be late fitness tests for Dave Webster, Danny O’Connor and Graham Kelly.

Seagulls’ boss Pat Devlin was happy with last week’s 1-1 draw with Derry City at the Brandywell that kept the club in joint fourth place.

“The team are making progress and we are looking forward to this game against Rovers, as they have been close affairs in the recent past,” said Devlin.

Second-placed Sligo Rovers will be hoping to make it four league wins in-a-row when they travel to meet in-form St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.

Unchanged Sligo have no injury problems and manager Paul Cook is optimistic about the outcome.

“Of course, all away games are difficult. Unlike last season we have had a good start to the campaign. But we are on a fine run and we are starting to find our groove,” said Cook.

His St Pat’s counterpart, Pete Mahon, has a strong hand to play with Dave Mulcahy, Shaun McFaul and Danny North all back from injury,although central defender Conor Kenna is still absent.

Derry City, back in third place but still only three points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers, face a testing examination of their title credentials when they travel to meet Dundalk at Oriel Park.

Midfielder Kevin Deery faces a late fitness test while Dundalk will be hoping to build on last week’s encouraging 2-0 victory away to UCD.

Bohemians will be hoping to put themselves in the right mood for Monday’s big Dublin derby game against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght when they host UCD at Dalymount Park.

Mark Rossiter is ruled out by injury while veteran Ollie Cahill will face a late fitness test. But Bohs boss Pat Fenlon is boosted by the return of Ger O’Brien after suspension.

College will not name their side until the last minute, with doubts surrounding the fitness of Graham Rusk, Robbie Creevy and Cillian Morrison.

Galway United and Drogheda United clash in a real ‘six-pointer’ between the league’s two bottom sides at Terryland Park.

Despite a long list of injury absentees, home advantage may swing it Galway’s way, with a win taking them six points clear of bottom side Drogheda, who have a miserable record of just two points from 14 games.

A ray of hope for Drogheda is that both Alan McNally and Mark Nolan return from suspension while striker Darragh Hanaphy looks set to start after recovering from injury.

The kick-off time for tonight’s Airtricity League First Division fixture between Cork City and Mervue United has been changed due to a delay in the completion of floodlight upgrade work because of prevailing high winds.

The match will now take place at Turner’s Cross with a kick-off time of 6.30.

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