Memories of yesteryear will come flooding back when Dundalk play host to Derry City at Oriel Park on Sunday.
The fixture, which was originally due to be played on Friday night, had to be rescheduled because of President Joe Biden’s state visit to Ireland during the week and was refixed for the ‘traditional’ League of Ireland Sunday afternoon slot of the past.
Both sides go into the game looking to halt a poor run of form. Dundalk’s 1-0 loss against Cork City at Turner’s Cross on Easter Monday was their third league defeat on the spin, and their fourth in all competitions; the club’s worst run since Stephen O’Donnell took charge in December 2021.
Despite that, the Lilywhites know that a win over the Candsytripes would lift them up to fifth place in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division table and put them firmly back amongst the chasing pack behind league leaders Bohemians.
Ruaidhri Higgins’ men have also hit turbulence in recent weeks. After an impressive 1-0 win against Shelbourne at Tolka Park, Derry’s last two games, at home to Drogheda United and league leaders Bohemians, have resulted in one-goal defeats. Despite that, they still lie just six points adrift of Bohemians.
The sides played out a scoreless draw at the Brandywell in March while both meetings at Oriel Park last season also ended with the points being shared.
Robbie Benson is available after missing the last two games with a suspension while Patrick Hoban is also fit after returning from injury against Cork City. Cameron Elliott and Paul Doyle are doubtful while Daniel Kelly is out after going off in the defeat at Turner’s Cross with a hamstring injury. Louie Annesley and John Mountney are ruled out.
Quotes – Stephen O’Donnell
“Derry are on a similar sort of run to us at the minute but they’re still one of the best teams in the league so it’s going to be a tough game. There’s been very little between us in every game we’ve played and I don’t think it will be any different on Sunday.
“Robbie Benson and Patrick Hoban are both available again and I can’t stress enough how important it is to have players of that calibre and experience available again. The one thing we’re probably lacking at the minute is players with experience of the league and experience from a first-team football point of view. The more of those players we get back, the more positive it will be.
“I’m as positive as I’ve ever been and the players themselves are very positive, so we’re looking forward to the game. Results are the only way to change the frustration we all feel at the minute and we know that a couple of positive results can change the picture massively so let’s hope that starts on Sunday.”
Quotes – Patrick Hoban
“The results in the last couple of weeks haven’t been good enough and we know that we need to do better, creating chances and scoring more goals. I think we’ve been defending quite well in most of the games, but we’re not scoring and we’re not creating enough chances and that needs to change. At the end of the day, you have to score goals to win games and we’ve been doing a lot of stuff this week on that.
“We’ve always done well against Derry and we need our fans to help us. I know we’re going through a bad run of form at the moment but things will change because we have a lot of quality in the group. When the games are tough, you have to dig in together as a team and stick together. We need the fans to stick together with us too and help to push us through every minute of the game on Sunday.”
Referee: Rob Hennessy
Assistants: Robert Clarke & Wayne McDonnell
Fourth Official: Alan Patchell
There will be a minute’s applause in the 24th minute of Sunday afternoon’s game to remember Private Sean Rooney, who had close connections to both clubs.
Ground and juvenile tickets are now on general sale. Stand tickets are available from the office at Oriel Park.
A limited number of juvenile (U12) tickets will be available for the game. After this point, tickets will only be available in the higher-priced categories.
To gain entry to Oriel Park, all juveniles must have a ticket and be accompanied by at least one adult. Dundalk FC reserves the right to refuse admission to any unaccompanied juveniles. Any adult entering the stadium using a juvenile ticket will be ejected from the ground without a refund.
We would like to say a special word of thanks to our match sponsors, Cooley Distillery. Cooley Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery on the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth. It was founded in 1987 after Irish entrepreneur John Teeling purchased the site from the state-owned Cooley Alcohol Factory, which was originally built in 1939.
Refreshments, Food & Drink
The Lilywhite Lounge and Enda McGuill Suite will be open from 1pm on Sunday. Cash only in both bars. Hot food will be available from our Match Day Food Partners, Mullens. Coffee, tea and hot beverages will also be available from our Coffee Partners, The Brew Crew, in the ground and from the Enda McGuill Suite.
The front cover of the 24-page match programme game with Derry City at Oriel Park is a reworking of the programme from the famous meeting between the clubs on Easter Monday 1988 when Dundalk came from two goals down to win 3-2. It will be available before the game for just €4.
How can I follow the game?
There will be pre-match, in-game and post-match updates across all of the club’s official social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The match will be streamed live on LOITV for just €7 with Adrian Taaffe and former Dundalk FC striker David McMillan providing the commentary. Supporters can also avail of an LOITV Season Pass which costs just €120 and gives access to all matches across the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division, Men’s First Division and Women’s Premier Division.