On Friday night, Johnny McDonnell’s Drogheda United, who haven’t won a game since the second week of March, host Bray Wanderers, a side which has conceded 16 goals in their last three games.
Johnny McDonnell’s side come into this game looking to put back-to-back defeats to Longford Town and Shamrock Rovers behind them. The Boynesiders haven’t won a game since they beat Sligo Rovers in the second match of the season and since then, have picked up just two points from their nine games, courtesy of draws against Limerick and St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Drogheda have lost seven games in the league so far, with five of them being by just one goal. That was the case last Friday in Tallaght, as a first half tap in from Mikey Drennan, gifted to him by poor defending from Drogheda, was enough to give Shamrock Rovers the victory.
The Louth side will again be without defender Neil Yadolahi, who has been missing for six weeks due to injury. However, the defender has returned to light training following his return from treatment in England.
Drogheda will also again have to plan without experienced midfielder Sean Thornton, who has been handed an additional match suspension following his controversial red card in the 3-0 defeat to Longford two weeks ago.
In more positive news for the Drogs, Lloyd Buckley and Daryl Kavanagh, who missed the trip to Tallaght through injury and illness respectively, look set to be available for selection
Speaking to droghedaunited.ie ahead of the game, McDonnell said he is expecting a reaction from Bray following their 8-1 defeat to Dundalk on Monday and said that, despite the position both sides find themselves in, it is too early to call the game a six pointer.
“Bray were totally annihilated from start to finish which gives us no doubt that they will come out all guns blazing on Friday and we need to be prepared for that.”
“It’s too early for me to call tomorrow’s game a six pointer. It is an important match simply because it is the next match and it is a great opportunity to get three points particularly with us being so close together in the table.”
Bray are currently 11th in the table, a place and a point below Drogheda. A 3-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers, a 5-0 defeat to Galway and an 8-1 hammering at the hands of Dundalk mean that the Seagulls have a goal difference of -15 from their last three games.
At the time of writing, it is uncertain who will take charge of Bray for the trip to Louth as caretaker manager Maciej Tarnogrodzki has stepped away from his post, asking for time to reflect.
Reports are circulating that Bray have already got somebody to replace Tarnogrodzki, with former Shamrock Rovers boss Trevor Croly being one name that is doing the rounds. As for who will take charge on Friday night, Bray will either have to announce the appointment of a new manager or appoint another temporary caretaker manager.
Young Bray goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness may face a late fitness test after being subbed off with a head injury against Dundalk. Bray do however, have no players suspended.
Pundit Arena Prediction
Drogheda United 2-1 Bray Wanderers
Injured: Neil Yadolahi
Suspended: Sean Thornton
Doubtful: Stephen McGuinness
Last Two Meetings
7th March 2015: Bray Wanderers 0-1 Drogheda United
26th September 2014: Drogheda United 1-1 Bray Wanderers
Referee: Ray Matthews
Assistants: Robert Clarke & Darren Carey
Fourth Official: Derek Tomney
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena.