Posts Tagged ‘ Declan O`Brien ’

Airtricity League – Table Toppers Drogheda Take On Bohs

Image courtesy of RTE.ie

Image courtesy of RTE.ie

Athlone Town –v- Shamrock Rovers    7:45

Newly promoted Athlone Town play host to title hopefuls Shamrock Rovers, at the Athlone Town Stadium.

A very late goal by Sligo Rovers prevented Athlone Town from securing their first points of the season last week. The newly promoted side will be looking to use their home field advantage and get the win they need. Mick Cooke and his side know how important home form is to a side and will be looking to turn Athlone Town Stadium into a fortress.

Last season’s draw specialists started off this year with a draw, Ciaran Kilduff getting a 90 minute equaliser against Derry City. Trevor Croly will be determined to turn these draws into wins and will be expecting all three points here. They face difficult opposition against a newly promoted side playing their first home game of the season, but winning games is never easy.

Prediction: Draw Continue reading

Sligo Win FAI Cup In Dramatic Fashion

sligo

Sligo Rovers won their fifth FAI Cup in dramatic fashion as a late goal from Anthony Elding secured a 3-2 win over a spirited Drogheda United, who thought Ryan Brennan’s late equaliser had done enough to warrant extra time.

Drogheda United started the game counter attacking all of Sligo’s attacks in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Mick Cooke knew his side were the underdogs here and he set up his side perfectly.

Drogheda began well and restricted the play of their opponents, with Drogs striker Gary O’Neill in attendance to cheer on his side following his recent diagnosis with cancer.

Sligo Rovers did however have a half-hearted penalty claim turned down as former Shamrock Rovers man Aaron Greene was sent tumbling when he broke inside the box however his claims were waved away by Refereee Paul Tuite. Continue reading

Daly Confident Of FAI Cup Success

dalyMick Daly is no stranger to the big occasions since he joined Drogheda United and heads into Sunday’s FAI Cup Final clash with Sligo Rovers full of confidence.

The Drogheda United star knows how if you fail to prepare, you can prepare to fail. But he insists the Drogs have thoroughly prepared and are fully ready to battle Ian Baraclough’s men at the Aviva. Continue reading

Bohemians Avoid Playoff Despite Drogs Defeat

bohs

Bohemians avoided the  dreaded relegation play-off despite losing 1-0 to Drogheda United on Friday night.

Bohemians showed intent early on. Kevin Devaney proved the biggest thorn in Drogheda’s backside as he broke through the Drogs’ defence only to run out of space and run straight into the arms of the diving Michael Schlingermann.

Fifteen minutes in and Mick Cooke, who managed in his final league game on Friday night, would have been delighted with how his side started the game however, no goal was there to show for the impressive start. Continue reading

LOI : Dublin Derbies Significant At Both Ends Of The Table

CB

The League Of Ireland run in is well and truly upon us with most teams now staring at their final ten games of the season.

This season has been highly significant in footballing circles as there has been a paradigm shift in all quarters. St Patrick’s Athletic appear destined for title glory , thus stealing the mantle of Dublin’s top team from Shamrock Rovers while the surprise package that has been Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk , have claimed the bragging rights for 2013 over fallen neighbours Drogheda United.

Elsewhere , not much has changed as both Sligo Rovers and Derry City remain in title contention while both Bray Wanderers and UCD continue to battle at the bottom.

Tonight’s Dublin derbies are extremely significant for many reasons. Each team needs a victory for their own purpose , the Saints to extend their lead at the top , the Hoops to continue their European push and Bohemians and Shelbourne to move themselves clear of the relegation trapdoor.

Continue reading

Cooke Hoping For Swede Success

Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke feels his side are more than prepared for their second leg tie against Malmo FF this evening.

Cooke was in a jovial mood ahead of the tie at the Swedbank Stadion, insisting his side were not out of the tie despite the 0-0 draw at Tallaght Stadium last Thursday. Continue reading

Five Players Who Could Replace Gary Twigg

Fresh from completing his first two deals as Shamrock Rovers manager, Trevor Croly’s main aim now will be to do what many think is not possible, replace Gary Twigg.

Hoops legend Twigg has opted to move north to join Portadown in an attempt to be closer to his family, leaving behind a legacy of one of the greatest strikers ever to grace the national league. His potent goal threat and predatory instincts were second to none. The Scottish striker will forever be revered by the Hoops faithful, having scored a staggering 81 goals in 119 games over his three year tenure at the club.

After a disappointing fourth place finished this season Rovers will be keen to regain their title come March. But if they are to have any chance of doing so they must replace last season’s top scorer Twigg, a task that is much easier said than done.

Here Irish News Review considers five possible replacements for the Glaswegian.

Rory Patterson

Cup final hero Patterson may well be the man to replace Twigg. The Strabane native enjoyed a blistering start to his Derry City career last year, bagging a hat trick on his debut. Derry were a side in transition this year but Declan Devine got the best out of his men. Patterson’s form suffered shortly after due to injury, but the ex Linfield man grabbed two vital goals in the FAI cup final which brought the cup north at the expense of St Patricks Athletic. His talents are well regarded within the league and he remains contracted to the Candystripes for 2013. But with Rovers riches could the man who scored 107 goals in 126 appearances for FC United of Manchester be the man to bring the title back to Tallaght?

Christy Fagan

Ex Manchester United youngster Christy Fagan is without a doubt one of the best strikers in the league, having proved that during spells with Bohemians and St Patricks Athletic, where he netted 12 league goals last term. The Saints will be hoping Fagan won’t follow Croly and James Chambers in jumping ship to Rovers. But with Fagan on the PFAI transfer list anything is possible. Pats must act swiftly to secure their man or risk losing him to their fierce rivals.

Raffaele Cretaro

The Tubbercurry Tornado has spent most of his career at Sligo Rovers, helping guide The Bit O’Red to their monumental league success this year. Cretaro may well choose to remain in the North West and help Ian Baraclough’s men in their attempt to reach the Champions League. But a return to Dublin, where he previously spent time at Bohemians, may tempt him. Any move would see him link up with ex teammate Jason McGuinness, who opted to make the move from Sligo this week. Cretaro’s future is certainly up in the air and he like Fagan is also available on a free transfer. Although if Croly is looking for a long term replacement he may have to look elsewhere.

Mark Quigley

Ten goal Quigley, undoubtedly one of the best players in the league will always be a target for the top clubs. Croly may well be able to persuade the Dubliner to make a return to Rovers, having spent time there in 2005. But with such potential Rovers may find themselves fighting for Quigley’s signature against English and Scottish opposition as Millwall may be keen to bring Quigley back to the Den on a free transfer. However Quigley would be the perfect replacement for Twigg and any return to Tallaght could be the start of heralding the era of a new Rovers legend.

Other

Rovers could pursue alternative avenues in their search to replace Twigg. His replacement may already be at the club but it remains to be seen whether the likes of Gary O’Neill, Ciaran Kilduff or Tommy Stewart can emerge from his shadows. Much hope has been placed on the shoulders of young Aaron Greene who may thrive if given the opportunity but ultimately Croly may choose to entirely revamp his frontline.

Other possibilities could be Drogheda United star Declan O’Brien but it is highly doubtful he will leave the Boynesiders following the great season they have had.

Rovers may look to the first division for their replacement, crazy as it sounds. Danny Furlong, Seanie Maguire and Kevin McHugh all topped the goalscoring charts with 13 goals each. A move for Furlong, who had a remarkable season despite personal tragedy, and Maguire, regarded as the next big thing in League of Ireland may not be too far from reality.

Or maybe Croly will use his contacts elsewhere and we may see a foreign import drafted in to replace Rovers best ever foreign player.