Soccer Previews

Premier Division Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians (Tolka Park 7.45 pm) Shamrock Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at Terryland Park, after hot shot Tadhg Purcell’s injury time goal lifted Rovers ahead of Bohemians to third in the Premier Division table. Bohemians go into this game a point below Rovers in the league; this will be a true Dublin derby on and of the pitch. Prediction: Draw St Patrick’s v Derry City (Richmond Park 7.45 pm) Despite a lack of goals, there was plenty of incident and excitement as Bray Wanderers and League of Ireland leaders Saint Patrick’s Athletic played out a 0-0 draw at a drenched Carlisle Grounds. The early sending off of the Saints Alan Kirby swung the match in favour of the home side after an even opening to the game. In the circumstances, St. Pat’s will have been relieved to avoid a third straight league loss. The pressure to win this game will be on St. Pat’s as Drogheda has closed the gap to two points. A poor Derry City team, who are also managers-less after the news that Ex Cork City boss Pat Dolan turned the job down. Derry City side finally showed some signs of resistance in the second half when Ruaidhri Higgins forced a good save from returning goalkeeper Dan Connor. Hoping to give their support something to cheer in a disintegrating season, Derry almost grabbed a late equaliser but Mark Farren narrowly missed the target after getting himself into a good position. Prediction: A must-win game for St Pat’s. Drogheda United v Galway United (United Park 7.45 pm) Drogheda United secured a hugely significant 1-0 win on their trip to face Derry City at the Brandywell. With the other results going Drogheda United’s way they are just two points off league leaders St. Pat’s.  Sami Ristilla scored the only goal as the depleted Drogs claimed a much-needed win after early pressure finally paid off with the goal coming on 34 minutes. Galway United played out a score draw with Shamrock Rovers at Terryland Park. United striker Derek Glynn hit his sixth goal of the season as he nipped in on John Russell’s through ball before slotting home to give the Tribesmen a late lead. Prediction: Home win for Paul Doolin’s men. Sligo Rovers v Longford Town (The Showgrounds 7.45 pm) Paul Cook Sligo Rovers’ revival continued on Friday after a very good 2-0 win at Belfield Park lifted them ahead of their hosts, UCD. Second half goals from Adam Hughes and Matthew Judge gave the Bit O’ Red all three points.  These three points lift Sligo Rovers up to sixth in the League of Ireland table while UCD slip down to seventh. With Longford Town having no game last weekend, this game is a must-win. A draw will not do for Alan Mathews’ team with them already ten points adrift at the bottom of the league. With Sligo the form team going into this game I see them picking up all three points on this occasion.  Prediction: Home win Other games this weekend: Bray Wanderers v Waterford United (Carlisle Grounds, 7.45 pm) Prediction: Home win Cork City v UCD (Turner’s Cross, 7.45 pm) Prediction: Home win First Division: Finn Harps v Athlone Town (Finn Park 8 pm) Finn Harps’ recent revival continued as they moved to within eight points of third placed Limerick 37 in the First Division. Harps ran out 1-0 winners on their trip to face Wexford Youths. Harps were on top for most of the game against a Wexford side which has now dropped bottom of the entire league. This is a must-win game for Athlone Town in order to stay in touch with the leaders. Prediction Home win.