Champions Dundalk are on the road again tonight and travel to City Calling Stadium to take on Longford Town in the penultimate week of the SSE Airtricity League season.
On Friday evening Dundalk were comfortable 3-0 winners over Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium. After a scoreless first half, the champions broke the deadlock through Brian Gartland just after half-time with goals from Dane Massey and Ciaran Kilduff sealed three points.
The results mean Dundalk remain four points clear of Cork City who are second and have 64 points. Derry City qualified for Europe with 56 points and are third while Rovers are in fourth spot with 51 points on the board.
Monday is the last of four games in nine days but the first of four in eight days with Bohemians next Sunday and St. Patrick’s Athletic in the SSE Airtricity League while Dundalk welcome Zenit Saint Petersburg to Ireland on Thursday on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Europa League Group D.
This will be the third and final meeting of the sides with the Lilywhites winning the two previous encounters both in the league. The first one was 4-0 at CityCalling back in April with the most recent meeting in July ending 4-3 in what was a thriller at Oriel Park. The sides were level three times on the night before Kilduff headed the winner in the final minute of injury-time.
Dundalk will be without injured captain Stephen O’Donnell who suffered a hamstring injury on Friday night after just 13 minutes while Sean Gannon misses out once again with a calf injury. In better news Robbie Benson returned to the squad on Friday from a groin injury and Ciaran Kilduff made a goalscoring return from the bench following a concussion.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com manager Stephen Kenny feels the players are driven ‘to go again’ and says they are determined to get the win.
“We are very focused on the Longford game. We are very driven to go again after Friday night’s victory at Tallaght Stadium. The players are very hungry to succeed and to win matches.
“We are determined to show the requisite passion that will get us the victory.”
Also speaking to dundalkfc.com was centre half Brian Gartland and admitted he was delighted to get on the scoresheet and the three points but is fully focused on the trip to Longford tomorrow night.
“I am delighted that the goals are coming good for me the past few weeks! It doesn’t matter who gets them. Someone has to get them and it has been me but the main thing is that we get the three points and that’s all that matters. I think we put in a good performance but we don’t have time to rest and we move onto Monday.
“Longford scored three against us in Oriel and they have a lot of pace in the team. They can and have caused us some problems this year. We are fully focused on getting the three points on Monday night. It’s going to be a difficult one but we are in good form and hopefully we can win going into Zenit on Thursday.