First and foremost, apologies for the lack of a League of Ireland preview this week, a busy schedule prevented me from completing a post, so here is a review of the 4th series of fixtures in the League of Ireland. This week saw both, St.Pats and Bohemians held to goalless draws in their pursuit of the coveted title of Champions. The league appears to have now taken shape and punters now have a clear view of who will be changeling for top honours and who will be fighting for survival.
Bohemians 0 – 0 Sligo Rovers
Bohemians were unlucky to only take a single point out of their home encounter against a Sligo side who were determined to take something out of this game. Jason Byrne will be disappointed that he didn’t add to his tally of 3 goals this season, after being denied by Richard Brush on more than one occasion. Chris O’Connor was rarely troubled in the home side’s goal, however, he was forced into an impressive save half way through the second half. Gavin Peers was sent off in the 59th minute after bringing down, a goal bound, Jason Byrne. Sligo managed to see out the rest of the game with ten men as both sides maintains their unbeaten starts to the season.
Dundalk 0 – 0 St.Patrick’s Athletic
League leaders, St.Pats went into this game knowing a win would send out a definite meaning of intend towards other potential title rivals. Pete Mahon’s side had to settle for a draw against a resilient Dundalk side who, also, remain unbeaten this season. Both sides had a number of chances to seal all 3 points in this tight encounter, however, a draw was probably a fair result. The Inchicore club have yet to concede this season and will look to continue their terrific displays in defence in upcoming games in a bid to maintain their title ambitions.
Galway United 0 – 1 Shamrock Rovers
Rovers recorded their first victory of the season on a less than impressive surface at Terryland Park. With injuries to Gary Twigg and Dessie Baker, The Hoops took the lead through the unlikely source of Pat O’Sullivan. The defender rose highest in the 7th minute to convert a cross from Sean O’Connor. However, Rovers didn’t have it all their own way after the opener and will be relieved to leave Galway with 3 points as Cian McBrien and Karl Sheppard had chances to draw Galway level. O’Sullivan was stretchered from the field after picking up an injury, the Tallaght natives managed to hold onto a precious victory to bring back to Dublin.
Sporting Fingal 4 – 1 Drogheda United
Fingal went goal crazy on Friday night against a Drogheda side who will feel hard done by with regards the final score. Eamon Zayed got the home side off to the perfect start after 5 minutes after he converted Conan Byrne’s cross. Robbie Martin hit back for Drogheda after 11 minutes, but that’s were Drogheda’s scoring ended for the night. The impressive, Ronan Finn put Sporting in front after 25 minutes with a shot from 30 yards out. Jamie Harris scored past his own keeper just after the break to put Fingal 3-1 up and Gary O’Neill made it 4 for Sporting in the 78th minute. An impressive performance for the league newcomers who will be looking to build on this result and get as many points on the board as quick as possible. Drogheda will be looking to bounce back against Sligo in their next fixture.
UCD 1 – 0 Bray Wanderers
Bray continued their poor start to the season after conceding to a Conan Kilduff effort in the 50th minute. Bray, again, put in a spirited display but lacked the fire power in front of goal to really trouble the UCD defence. UCD were impressive throughout the game and will consider themselves unlucky not to have scored more than one goal in this game. Greg Bolger and Gramhan Rusk both had chances to add to the Students tally. UCD will be pleased with their start to the season and will be encouraged that they can avoid the drop after some impressive performances this season. Bray look to be totally out of their depth this season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them plying their trade in the First Division next season.