Dundalk have been beset by injuries of late and look likely to be without numerous key players for the visit of Pete Mahon’s St Patrick’s Athletic side. The Inchicore based team also have major injury concerns with no less than seven players receiving treatment this week. This Oriel Park tie looks likely to be a stern and rigid test for both squads but also an opportunity for fringe players to impress.
The stark reality of the test that lies in wait for Ian Foster’s Dundalk is etched in history, not since a 2-0 victory on 26 November 1998 have the Lilywhites overcome the Saints at the border venue.
Injuries will make this assignment an even more challenging one with long-term injury victims Eoghan Osborne (fractured tibia), Stephen Maher (fractured metatarsal) and Colin Hawkins (knee) certain to miss out. Both Mark Griffin (groin) and Ross Gaynor (ankle) are rated doubtful whilst Dean Bennett is suspended.
Foster is well aware of the numerical problems his squad are facing “We picked up a couple of injuries. Griffin has got a groin injury which will probably rule him out for the weekend, Bennett will be suspended. Even on Tuesday, we could only get six subs.
Out of those six subs, Stephen McDonnell is not ready and we had a 16-year-old boy (Conor McDonald) on the bench, and that’s where we’re at, at the moment.”
St Patricks Athletic will be without many of their established players for this one, however, David McMillan (hamstring) is the only confirmed absentee.
Seven other first team players are fighting to be fit but Mahon is hopeful that two or three of those carrying knocks may make the trip to Oriel Park “We are hoping two or three will have recovered, but we need to consider the impact the artificial pitch will have on them before making any decisions.
Mahon has acknowledged a less than perfect week of preparation, but will be looking to his fringe players tonight in hopes of taking all three points “Our preparations for tomorrow’s game haven’t been ideal.
We have a number of players injured which has impacted our training sessions this week” and “Having said that, this is good opportunity for those who haven’t featured recently to stake a claim for a starting place in the team for the remaining matches of the season.”
An interesting if not enthralling tie awaits, with a makeshift St Pats side, in fantastic form of late, favourites to overcome a patched together Dundalk outfit.