Limerick make the trip to Louth on Friday evening as they look to make it six wins from six and go ten points clear of second-placed Drogheda United.
United find themselves sitting on eight points from five games, winning two, drawing two and losing one. The Boynesiders bounced back from their 3-0 defeat away to Shelbourne with an impressive and comfortable 4-0 victory over Cabinteely in a game that Pete Mahon’s side will have felt was a must win with the task of Limerick coming up next.
Speaking to Droghedaunited.ie, Mahon admitted that the manner of the Cabinteely victory has been a big confidence booster going into the Limerick game.
“We played very well on the night and scored our goals at important stages of the game. It’s fantastic to score four goals in a game but it’s important to remember that Stephen McGuinness made two key saves at 2-0 which kept us in control.
“Cabinteely are a good side but we cut them open several times and probably could’ve scored more goals on the night but the manner of the win is a big confidence booster for ourselves going in to Friday’s game.”
The 4-0 win was the first clean sheet Drogheda had kept in the league this season, in the first league game new signing Stephen McGuinness had started following his recovery and return from injury.
Mahon will have a full team to choose from as captain Sean Thornton has made a surprisingly speedy recovery from his ankle injury and should take his place on the bench.
Speaking of Limerick, Mahon stressed that Drogheda won’t be sitting back and won’t be intimidated by the league leaders despite their great start to the season.
“Limerick have had a great start to the season but we won’t be intimidated whatsoever tomorrow night. We are the home team and the onus is on ourselves to go out and attack from the off. Limerick have obviously had things their own way this season but we’ll be looking to put them under pressure and it’ll be interesting to see how they react.
“We have no intention of sitting back and letting them play their game. It has the feeling of a big game and hopefully we can come away with a massive three points that would bring Limerick back within our sights.”
This will be the first time the sides have played each other since last season, when both clubs were relegated from the Premier Division. Drogheda finished bottom of the league and were relegated automatically while Limerick, who moved into the play-off spot on the final day of the season, lost out in the play-off final to Finn Harps.
Limerick have made an astonishing start to the season, winning all five of their games with ease, scoring for fun and conceding just five along the way, the lowest of anyone in the league.
They have scored 25 goals in the league this season, with eleven different players getting on the scoresheet. It will come as no surprise that the Shannonsiders have the three top goalscorers in the First Division in their ranks. Aaron Greene has five goals to date while John O’Flynn has three. However, between them is defender Robbie Williams, who has incredibly scored four goals in five games this season.
Limerick boss Martin Russell will know exactly what to expect from Mahon’s side at United Park as he has been in attendance at all three Drogheda United home games in the league so far this season.
In team news, Russell has Greene available to start from the first whistle this week while Garbhán Coughlan is the only doubt as he is suffering from a calf injury.
Doubtful: Garbhán Coughlan (calf).
Last Three Previous Meetings
League, 28 August 2015: Drogheda United 1-4 Limerick.
League, 5 June 2015: Limerick 1-2 Drogheda United.
League, 24 March 2015: Drogheda United 1-1 Limerick.
Drogheda United 11/1, Draw 9/2, Limerick 1/4.
United Park, 7:45 pm.
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena