- Thursday September 27th, 2012 @ 15:32
Saints Look To Close Gap
Third placed Drogheda United host second placed St Pats in this Friday's televised clash as the two sides aim to put pressure on league leaders Sligo Rovers, kick-off is at the earlier time of 7.05pm.
Both sides go into the game on the back of wins against Shamrock Rovers, the Saints having recorded a hard fought 2-1 win against their Dublin rivals last Tuesday, while Drogheda defeated the Hoops 3-1 in the EA Sports Cup Final last Saturday.
In the most recent clash between the Saints and the Boynesiders, a late Vinny Faherty equaliser led to Pats going on to claim a 3-2 victory on penalties over Drogheda in the FAI Cup quarter-finals – Faherty, Sean O'Connor and Jake Kelly were all successful from the spot last week.
Speaking to stpatsfc.com ahead of Friday's crucial game, Liam Buckley spoke of his delight of the midweek victory over the Hoops in Richmond Park and of the test that Drogheda would pose.
"Tuesday's win was really key as it leaves us in a good position ahead of the game in Drogheda.
"There's a lot at stake on Friday as a win for either side will leave them in a strong position for second place and move closer to Sligo.
"Drogheda have had a fantastic season to date, their EA Sports Cup victory was thoroughly deserved and in terms of the league, they are third on merit.
"Mick Cooke has done a tremendous job and they've given us four tough games to date this season, and we are expecting no different on Friday night."
Following the Saints' midweek fixture, Liam Buckley reported that other than a few knocks sustained, his side has no additional injuries.
The Saints remain without the services of Mark Rossiter (knee), while Dean Kelly, Hernany Macedo, and John Russell are all doubts.
The Saints are however boosted by the return of Chris Forrester who is available following a one match suspension.
With the Saints having recorded four wins in their last four league games, midfielder Jake Carroll told stpatsfc.com that the squad want to maintain the momentum from the recent results gained, while he admitted to enjoying his role in the Saints' midfield.
"We've been going well lately and personally, playing every week has been brilliant - the other lads in midfield are all great players and they all help me get through the game.
"This Friday though is a huge game for us,” the 21 year old admitted.
"People have been writing Drogheda off all season and they are showing what a good side they are by continuing to push on in the league.
"We haven't beaten them yet this season so hopefully we can change that and pick up the points."