Alfie Lewis is expecting his first Louth Derby to be a fast and furious affair when Dundalk play host to Drogheda United at Casey’s Field on Friday night.
After successive defeats to UCD and Waterford, the Lilywhites go into the game looking to get their push for Europe back on track but Lewis knows it won’t be easy against a Drogheda side who have beaten Dundalk in two of the previous three league games between the sides this season.
Both of those victories came at Head In The Game Park but Lewis said that Dundalk would be looking to emulate their performance at Casey’s Field back in April when they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.
“The lads told me that the derby game here back in April was helter-skelter for the first half an hour and then it calmed down so I’d expect it to be a bit chaotic in the early stages on Friday night. We just have to match Drogheda,” said Lewis.
“They will be up for it but if we can match them at what they are good at and bring out the sides of our game that we’re good at, then we’d be confident of winning the game.
“I watched clips of that game here earlier in the season and we won the game well. Our intensity was good and our quality shone through and that’s what we need to show again on Friday.”
It’s almost a year ago today since the former West Ham United starlet, who turned 23 on Wednesday, scored the winner for St Patrick’s Athletic against the Drogs at Head in The Game Park. Another goal would be nice but Alfie said that three points was his sole objective.
“We have six games left to play and the first win will be crucial,” he said. “If we can get that against Drogheda, confidence will grow in the group so we know it’s a massive game and we need the three points.”
Dundalk will be looking to extend their unbeaten home run on Friday night. Stephen O’Donnell’s side, who sit two points clear of fourth-placed St Patrick’s Athletic with a game more played, have won 11 and drawn four of their 15 games at Casey’s Field the season and the Lilywhites head coach has called on the club’s fans to help propel his side to a place in Europe next season.
“We have six games left to do something really special and qualify for Europe and the supporters are our main help and inspiration for that,” he said.
“Four of them games are at home, and we need to approach them with a hunger and an eye of the tiger mentality that we had back in 2013 and in 2014.
“I think the players have been brilliant over the season and now we just need that final push from the supporters and the town to really make the culmination to the season a memorable one.”