Drogheda United - Bray Wanderers

After big financial crisis that shook the club in 2007., Drogheda survived only because the supporters’ fundraising scheme and players who reached an agreement with club over unpaid wages. Now, the club consist only part-time players and the only goal is to avoid relegation. The biggest strength is manager Alan Mathews (ex Cork City and Longford Town manager) who is a very good coach and great motivator. However, Drogheda is in great shape, six matches unbeaten run, taking seven points from last 3 games. If home win over St. Patricks Athletic (1-0) was expected, likewise a point on away clash against direct opponent for relegation, Sligo Rovers (2-2), then win on the road against title chaser Derry City (1-0) has a weight of sensation. They faced Derry at the Brandywell with a strong defence which hosts couldn’t brake. Visitors were waiting their chance and received one in 86th minute when midfielder Brian King scored taking three points for the lads from United Park. Midfielder Paul Crowley is the only injury worry for Alan Mathews. He picked up a knock last week, but has since trained with the squad. Striker Guy Bates hasn’t received his international clearance yet and will play no part tonight.

Before the start, it was clear the hard task is in front Bray. With the half budget from the previous season, Bray look as the most serious contender for relegation. They’re three points under the line and ninth placed Sligo Rovers. But, more concerns bring the info they have just a single win in last nine league rounds (mentioned Sligo at home, 3-1), with three defeats in a row (Derry City, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers). In the previous round, against Shamrock at home, players put the solid display, but thankfully to two big defensive errors, visitors scored twice and took a win. Another defeat tonight would mean one more step closer to the First Division. Boss Eddie Gormley can not count on central defender Chris Deans (heel) and striker Paul Byrne (knee) who will be absent, with speculation rife that influential midfielder Patrick Kavanagh will be benched following his decision to sign a pre-contract agreement with Shamrock Rovers.

Drogheda will have a nice opportunity to make a safe distance from Bray. Players are in the good mood, club is in the good shape and that’s nearly opposite from Bray’s situation. For me, another win for the hosts is a clear logic. Boylesports offer 1.83, Pinnacle 1.76. Home win.


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