U.C.D v Derry City F.C, Belfield Bowl, 7.45pm
City look to get their season up and running with a trip to the Belfield Bowl this evening. The Candystripes exited the Setanta Sports Cup at the start of the week with a late defeat in Drogheda, which followed on the heels of a home reverse to Sligo Rovers in the opening fixture of the 2013 campaign. However with a continuing injury list, Declan Devine has early season challenges to contend with as he looks to secure all three points.
The students come into the game after three consecutive games against Bohemians. A mixed record saw them win at Dalymount in the Leinster Senior Cup before suffering defeat in the EA Sports Cup and the League to the same opposition.
Ahead of the game Derry manager Declan Devine spoke about the 94th minute loss to Drogheda and looked ahead to the UCD game, “Needless to say we were very disappointed with the way we lost out to Drogheda on Monday night. I felt that even after we went down to ten men we created a lot of chances which we need to be putting away. Having said that, we can take a lot of positives from the three games we have played so far. I feel that we have played very well in all three games and as I have already said, we have been creating chances. We just need to put them away now”
“We will travel to UCD on Friday evening under no illusion that we will need to be at the top of our game to come away with anything. I have great respect for Martin Russell and the teams that he has built time and time again at UCD. As always, I feel this is going to be a difficult task for us. Games between both sides over the last number of years have, bar one game, been very tight affairs with the odd goal winning it and hopefully we can grab the one that counts to get our season up and running.”
Also speaking ahead of the game Derry new boy Thomas Crawley said, “Since I have came to Derry I have really settled in well. It has helped that I’m in a house with the likes of Paddy Kavanagh which has been great. My main aim this season is to get as many games as possible, so far it has all gone well with one start and being on the bench for the other two games. Hopefully when we travel to Dublin on Friday I will get another chance to show what I’m capable of. We know this is going to be a tough game and hopefully we can get a good result.”
City will be without Stewart Greacen, Paddy Kavanagh and Sean Houston but Dermot McCaffrey and Kevin Deery are both available after missing last week’s loss to Sligo Rovers. Ryan McBride was sent off in the defeat against Drogheda but his suspension is to be served in the next Setanta game and therefore the centre half should be part of the panel for this evening’s fixture.
Last season was a mixed bag between the two sides, with both recording a victory in their respective “away” fixture, whilst losing their home fixture. The third fixture in the League was a scoreless draw at the Brandywell, though City did emerge vixtorious in a Cup game at Belfield on their way to lifting the Cup in 2012.
Live coverage on @Drive105MNL, with coverage also available on Twitter via the @Derrycityfc account.