League preview: St Patrick’s Athletic -v- Drogheda United – The home of Irish football


It is the first of seven games for the Saints this month as they initially welcome Drogheda United to Richmond Park and will follow that with a trip west on Bank Holiday Monday to take on Sligo Rovers.

Last time out, Jon Daly’s side lost 1-0 to Shelbourne at Tolka Park, a result that leaves the Saints in sixth place with 15 points from the 13 Premier Division games they have played this season with a margin of minus two goals.

“Our results are not good enough,” Daly said in a conversation with his club’s media team. “There are a few performances that I am very disappointed with, but there have been other games where we have been very good and we have not taken the chances, then been punished for defending late, so we want to marry it all together.

“It’s about making sure you’re solid defensively, and when the chances come at the other end, you’re ruthless and you take them, and that’s been the biggest problem for us. We didn’t take our chances and we let in soft goals and goals in set play situations that were different to us.

“Everyone is frustrated and I understand that, I share the same frustrations, that is football and it can change very quickly. We have two games this weekend where we can put things right and get ourselves back up to speed (on the teams above us).

“Teams have shown in the competition that if you add a few wins together you suddenly find yourself on the right side of the table and that’s what we have to do, it’s as simple as that.”

Daly will have to make do without skipper Joe Redmond, who is unlikely to play again this month due to an injury. However, the positive from last Friday’s match at Tolka Park was the return of Ryan McLaughlin to the team as he made his first league start of the season after recovering from a calf problem.

“There are a lot of games coming up this month, and that’s a good thing,” said the 29-year-old McLaughlin. “The results haven’t been great in the last few games and it’s good that you’ve had games like that.” a quick turnaround time to put things right.

“That starts Friday and Monday, there are two big games on the schedule, we want two wins out of two. It only takes one win for everyone to start feeling good again.

“We know what we have in the dressing room, we have a lot of talent there. We want to compete at the top of the table and it all starts on Friday against Drogheda United.”


The Boynesiders suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Monday evening – a result that leaves them in ninth place with 11 points from their 12 games and still in the relegation/promotion play-off.

They are just three points ahead of defender Dundalk, who they face at home at lunch on Monday.

The loss to Rovers was their heaviest defeat this season (and their worst since Rovers beat them 5-0 last October).

When United faced the Saints earlier in 2024, it was a scoreless stalemate.

The pain of the loss in Tallaght during the week was compounded by the sending off of Jack Keaney in the match and the fact that he is suspended for the trip to Dublin 8 after United failed to appeal against the red card of the defender.

In addition to missing Keaney, their top scorer Evan Wier (with four goals) is missing due to injury.

United have only two wins this season – away to Sligo Rovers in their last away game and at home to Bohs in early March.

Referee: Declan Toland


In fact, it was an honor between the teams when they played against each other last season. The Athletic won the first two games (3-1 at Weavers Park in April and 3-0 at Richmond Park in May), while the Boynesiders won both the other two games 2-1.

The Athletic have won 66 of their 130 league games with the Drogs and lost 39 times.

As the home side, St. Pat’s have won 33 games including 19 victories for Drogheda when they were the away team. Only eleven games were drawn.


2-1 home win

St. Patrick’s Athletics

Injured: Joe Redmond

Doubtful: Tom Grivosti, Ruairi Keating, Mason Melia

Suspended: No.

Drogheda United

Injured: Evan Wier

Doubtful: No

Suspended: Jack Keaney