Drogheda United will be aiming to end Limerick’s perfect start to the season when they face the runaway leaders at the Markets Field tonight, kick-off 6.30pm.
Martin Russell’s side have won all 12 of their First Division fixtures and they extended their lead to 14 points over Drogheda last Sunday as they defeated Shelbourne 4-3 while the Boynesiders failed to win away to Cabinteely.
Despite being on a run of four straight wins, Drogheda drew 0-0 at Stradbrook Road in a performance which manager Pete Mahon has described as ‘Unacceptable’.
“We were dreadful on the day,” Mahon acknowledged Friday evening. “I can’t quite put my finger on why but our intensity was lacking, our passing was off and we made the wrong decisions all across the pitch.
“There have been games where we have underperformed this season but nothing to that level. It’s now time to put a line under it and move on. I’m certain that the players will provide a response tomorrow night.”
Drogheda suffered their only home defeat the last time the sides met as Limerick ran out 3-0 winners but Mahon was quick to point out that his side missed several chances to take the lead before the Shannonsiders made the breakthrough.
“We were excellent in the first-half that night but our finishing was off and they made us pay for it. They’re obviously the best team in the division but that doesn’t mean that we can’t match them in a one off game.
“My main concern facing them is the amount of goals that they’ve scored and the number of penalties they’ve received. It’s either a case of them playing all out attack at times or they’re getting the benefit of big decisions in the penalty area so we need to be careful.”
Regardless of results over the weekend, Drogheda will go into the mid-season break in second place and Mahon is eager for his side to push on in the months ahead.
“There’s a lot of football left to be played but I’m happy with how things have gone so far. I think we all expected Limerick to be leading at the top but not by this margin and therefore second place is the highest that we can achieve.
“We’ve only played to our potential a few times this season so there’s certainly room for improvement. It’s all well and good being pleased where you are in June but it’s October and November that really matters.”
Drogheda will be without Adam Wixted and Colm Deasy though the latter is expected to return training over the course of the mid-season break. Jake Hyland will be unavailable through suspension.