- Saturday March 24th, 2012 @ 9:56
PREVIEW: BOHS V SAINTS
St Patrick's Athletic travel to Phibsboro for their first Dublin derby of the season as they face Bohemians in Dalymount Park this Sunday, kick-off 4pm.
The Saints will be hoping to return to winning ways after drawing with Monaghan United last Friday, while the Gypsies will be hoping to lift themselves off the bottom of the table having lost their opening three games.
Fans will be aware of the majority of players on display come Sunday evening as six members of Liam Buckley's current squad, Barry Murphy, Ger O'Brien, Aidan Price, Mark Rossiter, Christopher Forrester and Christy Fagan plied their trade with Bohemians last season.
Similarly, the Gypsies can call upon the services of several former Saints' players. Dave Mulcahy, Derek Pender, Evan McMillan, Neil Harney, Seán Stewart, and John O'Connor all appeared in the Saints' first team, while Daniel Corcoran was a youth at Pats until 2008 when he joined a Sporting Fingal side managed at that time by Liam Buckley.
The Saints are unbeaten in the last five meetings between the sides overall, and have avoided defeat in their last five visits to Dalymount Park, October 2009 being the last time the Saints tasted defeat in Phibsboro.
However, the Inchicore side's last trip to Dalymount Park holds fond memories for Pats' fans as the Saints' defeated Bohemians 2-0 in the 2011 Leinster Senior Cup Final last October.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com Saints' forward Christy Fagan admitted that while making his full league debut against his former club would be a surreal experience, it is one that he is relishing having missed out on the Saints' first three league games of the season after a red card from his time at Bohemians was carried over to the 2012 season.
“It's funny that my first game for Pats could be against my former side, but that's football for you.
“After starting the Setanta Cup games against Cliftonville this season, it was really frustrating to have to sit out the league games.
“It was great though to see the lads make a good start to the league season, but hopefully I can get in the team and play now.”
Fagan had mixed fortunes playing against the Saints last season, as he received a red card in a 1-1 draw in Richmond Park, while he missed a penalty in the 2011 Leinster Senior Cup Final.
The former Manchester United youth is hoping that his fortunes will be different in this fixture come Sunday evening.
“In the last game Chris Bennion made a great save from my penalty, but hopefully that'll change on Sunday.
“Any Dublin derby is always going to be a real challenge, but this is one I'm really up for.”
The Gypsies have suffered narrow defeats and have failed to score in their three league games to date, but despite this slow start to the season for Aaron Callaghan's side, Saints' manager Liam Buckley told stpatsfc.com that he is expecting a stern test on Sunday.
“All Dublin derbies are big occasions and this will be no different.
“We're looking to bounce back after dropping points last week and keep ourselves in the mix with the teams at the top.
“It'll be a really tough test as Bohs never give you an easy time in Dalymount in front of their own supporters.”
Buckley reports that Seán O'Connor is in contention for a starting spot having missed last week's 1-1 home draw with Monaghan, while Christy Fagan could be in line for his league debut after completing a three match ban.
Dean Kelly misses out for the Saints having been sent-off last weekend, while Aidan Price remains unavailable through injury. Buckley however had positive news regarding Price's fitness, reporting that he is approaching full fitness and is close to being available for selection.