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New signing Keith Gillespie is unveiled by Longford Town yesterday.
New signing Keith Gillespie is unveiled by Longford Town yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

League of Ireland preview: Fenlon still on the bench as Bohs visit Inchicore

Gypsies visit Richmond Park in what may be managers League of Ireland swansong.
Apr 1st 2011, 9:09 AM 232 0

PAT FENLON WILL still be in the dugout for Bohemians’ trip to Inchicore tonight as they take on an inconsistent St Patrick’s Athletic.

It was believed that Fenlon would leave the club this week after the defeat to Galway United sparked doubts over his future at Dalymount Park.

He has continued to take training all week and after meetings with the Bohs board behind closed doors, both Fenlon and the club have remained tight-lipped.

There are no guarantees of him remaining at the club in the long-term with rumours of moves to Scotland still rife, but he will take the Gypsies to Richmond Park hoping to get back to winning ways after losing their unbeaten record against the Tribesmen.

Pat’s are currently a point behind Bohs after a mixed start to the season. They could easily be right behind current leaders Shamrock Rovers, only for the Saints to have thrown away three points from a commanding position against Bray in Week Two.

They eventually lost that game 3-2 at home, but there was a complete reverse situation last weekend when Pete Mahon’s team overturned Dundalk thanks to a last-minute winner from Dave Mulcahy. Both Pats’ inconsistencies and the uncertainties surrounding Fenlon mean it’s the most difficult game of the weekend to predict. Mahon will be absent due to the death of his mother this week.

As the eloquent Richie Sadlier on this week’s MNS pointed out, the table means absolutely nothing at the moment, but you really would start to worry for Drogheda United. The only team without a win and already consigned to relegation according to the bookmakers, Mick Cooke must now prepare his small squad for the visit of Shamrock Rovers.

The Hoops make the short trip to Hunky Dory’s Park knowing that anything less than a win would be the shock of the season so far.

Undoubtedly, Rovers were far from at their best in a tame 0-0 draw on the road against Derry, but against the weaker opposition of Drogheda, they should win comfortably.

Elsewhere in Co Louth, Dundalk will surely avenge for that Pat’s result last week with a home tie against UCD. The Students are currently tied on four points with the Lilywhites, but the home side’s class is likely to prevail with their second win of the campaign.

The early surprise package has definitely been Bray Wanderers and a fascinating game awaits at the Carlisle Grounds where Derry City are the visitors. A result here for the Seagulls would be terrific with a jaunt to Tallaght following up next week, but Derry are notoriously their bogey side as Wanderers have only beaten the Candystripes in the league on five occasions.

The west’s awake

The weekend’s Premier Division action is rounded up with a local derby in Connacht, as both Galway United and Sligo Rovers will be seeking to build on victories in their last league appearances. Galway, however, suffered a mortifying defeat to non-league Cockhill Celtic in the EA Sports Cup on Monday night, and with the Bit O’Red starting to build up a steam after also hammering Portadown in the Setanta Cup it looks like an away win is the most likely outcome.

There’s only one place to be in the First Division this week as Roddy Collins meets ‘former’ club Cork City at Turner’s Cross. Collins had some strong words to say yesterday, also stating that City boss Tommy Dunne is a ‘boy in a man’s job’, so the controversial Dubliner is likely to receive a vocal reception from the Cork support. On the field, the home team should have enough, though uncertainties remain about their ability to score goals.

Shelbourne moved to the top last weekend but face a stern exam at home to Limerick, with Wexford Youths facing Mervue United in the other First Division game to be played tonight. On Saturday evening, Keith Gillespie could make his Longford Town debut against local rivals Athlone, while Salthill Devon entertain Waterford United at Drom, the Blues looking to make it two wins on the bounce after they finally got into their stride against Harps seven days ago.

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Alan Smith


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