The Airtricity League is in full swing, and Craig Gibson looks forward to the fourth round of games in both the Premier and First Divisions.
There’s a full programme of fixtures in the Premier Division tonight with RTÉ showing live coverage of Galway United’s clash with Shamrock Rovers. Third placed Dundalk host table toppers St. Pat’s in what looks to be a better game on paper and there’s another top four clash at Dalymount Park where Bohemians take on Sligo Rovers.
Dundalk impressed everyone with their excellent performance at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday. Neale Fenn showed he’s still got plenty to offer with his classy finish for the first goal and tonight he’ll be hoping to become the first player to score against St. Pat’s in the league this season. Pete Mahon’s dressing room full of new signings have gelled much quicker than anyone in Inchicore could have expected and the Saints’ boss will be looking to make it four wins from four.
Sligo will be looking to succeed where Sporting Fingal, UCD and Drogheda have all failed so far by taking points off the champions. The Bit O’ Red have performed well against Bohs in recent times although they sometimes seem a bit lightweight away from home. Confidence must be sky high in the Gypsies’ camp after last week’s amazing late comeback in Drogheda and the Dalymount faithful will be expecting their side to continue their winning run tonight.
Michael O’Neill knows his honeymoon period as Shamrock Rovers boss is well and truly over after back-to-back defeats at home and one point from a possible nine so far. Rovers’ performances have been even worse than their results and their midfield looks woefully short of what is required to challenge for a league title. Galway have had a mixed start to the season themselves but they always play with plenty of passion at Terryland Park and Seán Connor will be hoping to rub further salt into Rovers’ wound tonight. Fans travelling to the game should note the slightly earlier kick off time of 7:35.
Sporting Fingal will be looking to build on last week’s win in Bray when they entertain Drogheda at Morton Stadium. Midfielder Ronán Finn has already shown what an excellent signing he was and Liam Buckley’s side will again look to the former UCD man for inspiration tonight. Drogheda have improved enormously since their opening day defeat and they will be looking for their first win of the campaign tonight.
In tonight’s final game UCD face a Bray side that are still searching for their first point. Eddie Gormley knows it’s a game his side simply cannot afford to lose if they want to avoid getting cut adrift at the bottom this early in the season. For their part, the Students will be looking to get their season back on track after two defeats on the trot.
Air Play to You
Sligo manager Paul Cook pulled off a real coup during the week with the signing of Cameroon international Joesph Ndo. The former PFAI Player of the Year is without a doubt the most entertaining player in the league and looks certain to be a fans’ favourite at the Showgrounds.
Honourable mention: Sporting Fingal‘s 3-1 win over Bray last Friday was the club’s first ever victory in the top flight of Irish football and just shows how far Liam Buckley’s side have come in such a short space of time.
Bad Air Day
I know a lot of Cork people are prone to the odd unnecessary use of the phrase “you know” but MNS pundit Dave “you know” Barry went a bit overboard on Monday night. Here’s an example of one of his sentences: “you know a lot of people were probably you know sayin’ you know it’s eh you know it’s not the ideal situation to go into.” It’s very you know annoying.