Hoops aiming to close seven-point gap with win over UCD

With the top of the table clash between Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United not taking place until tomorrow and St Patrick’s Athletic engaged this week in Europa League action, Shamrock Rovers will be looking to take advantage by narrowing the seven-point gap which separates them from the leaders when they face UCD at the Belfield Bowl this evening.

Having steadied the ship with a win in Derry, Hoops manager Stephen Kenny is hoping the defending champions can make it back to back away wins at the home of the side currently propping up the Airtricity League Premier Division.

“We can take confidence from the win and clean sheet in Derry last week,” said Kenny. “But one win in isolation is nothing. We need to back that up with another win against UCD. We need to repeat the strong performance we put in against Derry and have the belief that we can go and get a win away from home.”

Aaron Greene (knee), Graham Gartland (back) and Stephen O’Donnell (hamstring) are all out of the Rovers squad while defender Ken Oman will have a fitness test before the game.

Embattled Dundalk, second from bottom in the Premier Division, host Cork City at Oriel Park, with City boss Tommy Dunne hoping his side can convert one point into three following three consecutive draws in the league, the most recent a scoreless outing at home to Shels.

“Against Shelbourne I thought we performed quite well, but did not take the chances we created,” said the City boss.

“Over the last couple of games we have not had the cutting edge to claim the three points. Our general play has been quite good, but being more clinical is the difference between drawing games and winning games.”

Colin Healy is rated as very doubtful for City and there are also doubts over the availability of Graham McCarthy (ankle) and Cathal Lordan (knee). Striker Keigan Parker will miss the next two games through suspension following his sending off against Shelbourne.

In tonight’s other Premier Division fixture, Bohemians host Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park while the pick of the First Division games sees leaders Limerick host second-placed Longford Town at Jackman Park. All tonight’s Airtricity League games kick off at 7.45pm.


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