Bragging rights at stake as Dundalk bid to quieten noisy neighbours

With Dundalk six points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, it’s hard to believe that, back in March, Stephen Kenny’s team lost their opening game in the campaign 4-1 to neighbours Drogheda United.

Bragging rights at stake as Dundalk bid to quieten noisy neighbours

The Lilywhites return to United Park tonight (kick-off 8pm, live on Setanta Ireland) for the latest edition of the Louth derby, with Drogheda in the mood to spring another surprise after thumping UCD 4-0 last week in veteran manager Damien Richardson’s first game in charge.

But it’s Dundalk who really go into the game with the wind at their backs, having beaten Cork City 2-1 at the death in last week’s top of the table clash at Turner’s Cross.

“It was a great win and to strike so late in the game was important for us but it is another three points,” says Kenny. “We have to go and earn every three points and the game against Drogheda is no different. We are ready to roll our sleeves up and work hard.”

For his part, Damien Richardson is hoping his team can take last week’s form into what he knows will be a much tougher test.

“Confidence is high amongst the players as it has been a very optimistic week for all involved with Drogheda,” he says. “I would love to see a similar style of performance as last week against what is the best side in the league.”

At Turner’s Cross, second host third with Cork City and St Patrick’s Athletic both hoping to capitalise on any slip-up by the leaders on Boyneside.

Michael Rafter and Darren Murphy remain sidelined for City, while Rob Lehane is also out with an ankle injury.

Gavin Kavanagh is a doubt, having picked up a knock in training, while both Garry Buckley and Darren Dennehy are suspended. Brian Lenihan is also sidelined, as he continues his recovery from concussion.

Pat’s will be without Chris Forrester and Sean Hoare both of whom are serving one-match bans but Irish international Keith Fahey is back following his own suspension.

In tonight’s other Premier Division games, Pat Fenlon takes his first bow as Shamrock Rovers boss at home to Derry City (8pm) while UCD host Bohemians at the UCD Bowl.

And in the First Division, it’s Shelbourne v Cobh Ramblers (8pm), Waterford Utd v Shamrock Rovers B and Wexford Youths v Galway FC (8pm).

All games kick off at 7.45pm unless otherwise indicated.

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