Sporting Fingal V St Patrick's Athletic

  • Thu, Sep 11, 2008 @ 9:59

Eircom League newboys Sporting Fingal continue their quest for debut season silverware when they welcome St Patrick's Athletic to Morton Stadium for their FAI Ford Cup quarter-final tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.

Fingal are joint second in the First Division, but all thoughts will turn to the cup tonight as they try to send the visitors' long wait for their third success in this competition into its 48th year.

Unfortunately for Sporting, they will not have a full hand to choose from to face their lofty opponents. Brian Kelly's back problems keep him on the missing list, while Barry Ferguson is cup-tied after featuring for Shamrock Rovers earlier in the year.

Also absent will be Brendan Clarke and John Frost, who cannot play under the terms of their loan agreements from St Pat's.

Fingal go into tonight's game as firm underdogs, but manager Liam Buckley expects his charges to give a good account of themselves.

Buckley said: 'St Pat's, of course, are the favourites to advance to the semi-finals but we intend to make this cup tie competitive.

'Our unbeaten home record at Morton Stadium is a source of pride to both our players and staff and we aim to keep it for as long as possible.'

He added: 'The two recent wins we got over Shelbourne and Monaghan United ensure we remain in contention at the top end of the eircom First Division. Overall, we are in good shape as we approach the business end of the campaign.'

The game will see Sporting winger Brian Morrisroe face the club he won a Premier Division medal with in 1996, and he is eagerly anticipating the visit of his former employers.

Morrisoe said: 'I have great memories from my time at Inchicore. It's fantastic to see them progressing in the UEFA Cup this season and the whole league will be behind them when they play Hertha Berlin next week.

'But there is no doubt where his loyalties will lie at the Santry venue tonight.'

Morrisoe added: 'However, our form of late means that we go into this FAI Cup tie full of confidence. Once we put in our best effort, I feel we can give them a good contest.'

The fixture offers Pat's the chance to get Monday's 3-0 defeat to Bohemians - which effectively ended their Premier Division title hopes - out of their systems ahead of their trip to the German capital next week.

The Saints continue to struggle with injuries, with Keith Fahey (knee), Des Byrne (ankle), Dave Rogers (hamstring), Stephen Paisley (groin) and John Murphy (back) all sidelined.

Former Drogheda United man Jason Gavin also misses out as he is cup-tied.

Rogers' hamstring trouble denies him the chance to face the side he spent the first half of the season with on loan.

Next Fixture

Sligo Rovers / February 21st @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: The Showgrounds
Team Pld Pts
Waterford FC13
Finn Harps13
Bohemian FC00
Shamrock Rovers00
Sligo Rovers10
St Patrick's Athletic10
Derry City10
Cork City10