ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St Patrick’s Athletic will look to return to winning ways when they welcome Waterford to Richmond Park on Monday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Saints were narrowly defeated 1-0 away to Cork City on Friday night following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Dundalk earlier in the week.
Graham Cummins notched the game’s only goal early in the second half and Pats couldn’t quite muster the final pass to complement their general play.
Now they face a Waterford side who beat them 2-0 at the RSC in March and who will be looking to return to winning form themselves.
"Waterford under Alan Reynolds have made a really strong start to the campaign,” Saints boss Liam Buckley told the club’s official website.
“They were deserving winners against us in February and have a number of great results under their belt to date.
“Even though they were beaten last Friday up in Derry, they performed strongly and could have nicked something.
“We know that they will travel to Inchicore in good spirits and we need to be fully prepared and focused on the pitch if we are to get a result.
“Our performance levels have improved in the last few weeks, so we just have to keep plugging away as we will get our rewards if we keep playing to that level."
Buckley will have a full squad to select from as they have no injuries, suspensions or other absences to report.
Waterford visit Richmond Park for the first time in nearly a decade on Monday night, having been victorious on their last trip up in the FAI Cup in 2009.
Alan Reynolds’ side will be hoping for more of the same this time around as the high-flying Blues look to return to the top of the table, at least temporarily, with victory.
With neither Dundalk nor Cork City due to play until Tuesday, Waterford have the chance to move level on points with the Lilywhites, although they’d need to win by 14 goals to take the lead outright.
The Blues fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Derry City at the Brandywell on Friday night as the absence of suspended midfielders Bastien Hery and Stanley Aborah was felt.
Hery and Aborah were banned for four and six games respectively for a meleé during the 2-1 league win over Cork City a week earlier, and Reynolds will sit out tonight’s game for his part.
Defender Dylan Barnett is set to miss out after picking up a knock in Derry, while Kenny Browne is rated doubtful as he continues to recover from a rib injury.
“The game against St Pat’s is going to be tough,” said Blues coach Fran Rockett.
“They are a very good side and they’ll have the support behind them.
“It will be a bit like last Friday because Derry got the crowd behind them in the second half and we have higher standards then what we showed on Friday in the second 45 minutes.
“We must remain positive going into the game against St. Pat’s. We know what to expect from them and they are very good at home but we’ll be looking to put things right.
“We haven’t had too much to reflect on the game against Derry so hopefully we’ll be to bounce back with a win.”
Referee: Graham Kelly
The clubs have met once so far this season, with goals from Bastien Hery and Izzy Akinade seeing the Blues to a 2-0 win at the RSC.
Waterford’s last visit to Richmond Park came in the FAI Cup in 2009, when goals from Alan Carey and Willie John Kiely saw the Blues into the semi finals, where they were beaten by Sligo Rovers.
St Patrick’s Athletic 10/11; Draw 23/10; Waterford 3/1.
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 – 0 Waterford
St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Dylan Barnett.
Doubtful: Kenny Browne (rib).
Suspended: Bastien Hery, Stanley Aborah.