Dundalk will be looking for their third win in the space of seven days when they make the trip to the north-west to face League of Ireland table toppers Derry City on Friday night.
After dismantling St Patrick’s Athletic 5-0 last Friday, Stephen O’Donnell’s men followed it up with a hard-fought, and thoroughly deserved, 2-1 win over Shelbourne at Oriel Park on Monday night.
Shels went in front through John Ross Wilson after 15 minutes but Dundalk burst from the traps in the second half with Rayhaan Tulloch grabbing his second goal in as many games with a close-range header from a Darragh Leahy cross.
And, on the eve of his 32nd birthday, Andy Boyle popped up with a rare goal to secure Dundalk their second win of the campaign.
The result leaves the Lilywhites in third place, just three points behind Ruaidhri Higgins’ men, and they make the trip to the Maiden City on the back of an amazing run which has seen them lose just one of the 18 games they have played at the Brandywell since 2012.
Dundalk won both matches at the venue last season. In May, goals from Robbie Benson and Patrick Hoban secured a 2-1 win while Keith Ward’s solitary strike was enough to bag all three points on the final night of the season in November.
This will be the 101st time the clubs have met in all competitions and the 84th league meeting. Dundalk’s league record is as follows: W38, L21, D24.
Quotes – Stephen O’Donnell
“We’re really looking forward to it. The Brandywell is always a good place to go and play. It’s a really big pitch so it suits good footballers and there’ll be a lot of them on the pitch on Friday.
“Derry are unbeaten in their opening four. They’ll be riding the crest of a wave at the minute but our confidence is also high after the last two results. It’ll be a good sort of measuring stick for where we are at, where our individuals are at and collectively where we’re at.
“There are a lot of links between the clubs and there’s a really good sort of relationship there. Myself and Ruaidhri (Higgins) are really big friends and a lot of the lads who are here are friends with some of the players who moved to Derry but that goes out the window once the match starts. You become friends again on Saturday, and hopefully, you have bragging rights!
“We have an amazing record at the Brandywell which I wasn’t really aware of until recent days but, ultimately, it’s not going to count for anything come Friday night. You don’t win games on your historic record of the previous 10 years. It’s about what’s happening here and now and what’s in front of us.”
You can watch Stephen’s full pre-match interview below.
Quotes – Archie Davies
“Derry are a good side and they are top of the table for a reason but we’re going up there on the back of two wins on the trot and everyone is buzzing around the place and hopefully we can make it three in a row.
“They’re good on the ball and they’ll be expansive but we’re an athletic team with good pace all over the park and we will be looking to show our strengths and exploit their weaknesses.”
Johannes Yli-Kokko and Daniel Kelly are back in contention after missing the win over Shelbourne on Monday while Alfie Lewis, Robbie McCourt and Robbie Benson are also pushing for a start. Paul Doyle and Louie Annesley are doubtful while John Mountney (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Referee: Rob Hennessy
Assistants: Darragh Keegan and Chris Campbell
Fourth Official: Rob Harvey
A limited number of away tickets are still available and on general sale. The password is: 2023PCDFC. Dundalk supporters will be situated in Block A and B on the Southend Stand side of the ground.
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 also be broadcast live on LMFM with the team from Drive-105 on commentary duty.
Alternatively, you can tune into the same commentary team on LOITV which is streaming the match live for just €7. 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.