By Aaron Dunne
Check out all the Airtricity League Dublin Weekend Previews right here in this weeks Dublin Gazette
SHAMROCK ROVERS v Finn Harps – premier division (Friday unless stated)
- Fans will return to stadiums across the Leaue of Ireland tomorrow but all eyes will be on Tallaght Stadium where a pilot scheme will see 1,000 supporters return. Unlike most other clubs, Rovers decided not to open for a small number late last year, so for the lucky 1,000 who make it through the stiles, this will be their first taste of live football in 16 months. They won’t have it easy on the field, however, as they face one of the season’s surprise package in Ollie Horgan’s Harps.
Derry City v BOHEMIANS
- Bohemians will look to continue their hot run of form as they make the long trip north to the maiden city to face a Derry City side finding some form of their own under ex-Bohs man Ruaidhri Higgins.
- Keith Long’s side have won four of their last five games, including a thumping 5-1 win over Dundalk, and were the better side in their 2-1 defeat away to St Patrick’s Athletic. Victory could see the Phibsboro side leapfrog Drogheda United into fourth ahead of the Boynesiders’ visit to Dalymount Park next Friday.
Longford Town v ST PAT’S ATH (Saturday)
- Saturday evening sees Stephen O’Donnell’s Saints make the trip to the midlands to face second-from-bottom Longford Town at Bishopstown Stadium. The Saints dropped six points behind league leaders Sligo Rovers as they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat at home to Dundalk last week. And a visit to a Longford side, managed by ex-Saint Daire Doyle, who only lost to Rovers last time out thanks to a goal in the sixth minute of injury time will be far from straight-forward.
First Division (Friday unless stated)
UCD v Cobh Ramblers
- UCD returned to winning ways in their final game before the break thanks to Mark Dignam’s injury-time winner at Athlone Town. Andy Myler’s side risked slipping eight points off the pace as they went 2-0 down inside the opening quarter but goals from Liam Kerrigan, Dara Keane and Dignam turned the tie on its head. With Shels facing a tricky trip to Bray, the visit of Ramblers is an opportunity for the Students to cut the deficit.
Cork City v CABINTEELY
- Like the game in Tallaght, Cabo’s visit to Turner’s Cross will be a pilot for larger stadium openings, with 600 expected to file into the Cork venue. Both sides have struggled for consistency this season, with five defeats apiece, but the return of fans may change the dynamic and Cabo will have their work cut out.
Bray Wanderers v SHELBOURNE
- Shelbourne will look to keep the momentum of their early-season form going as they travel to face Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds tonight. The Reds lead second-placed UCD by five points and remain unbeaten after 10 games – though one of their three draws did come in the home game with Bray back in April. “We’d rather be out in front than chasing teams – we’re happy with the start we’ve had and the points we’ve taken,” captain Luke Byrne told the Dublin Gazette. “We know we can play better and nothing is achieved yet. It was a good month heading into the break and we’re looking forward to picking that up this week.”