Hawkins blow for Dundalk as Bohs gear up for second bite
RATHER than more of the same, fans of Bohemians will be hoping for a repeat of their FAI Cup last-16 replay win over Dundalk two years ago as they resume battle with the Lilywhites this evening.
Friday night's scoreless draw was lacking in incident, something that was not missing in 2009 when an action-packed clash ended with a red card each, 11 yellows, penalties and a roar that nearly lifted the roof off Dalymount Park as the Gypsies edged through.
Both sides are almost unrecognisable from the ones who took to the field in August '09, with just three remaining survivors -- Peter Cherrie for Dundalk, Mark Rossiter and Owen Heary for Bohs -- but it could be just as tight this evening.
Just eight days ago, Bohs put three goals past Cherrie in the league, but things were tighter in the cup and Dundalk's season rests on success at Dalymount.
The visitors are still looking patched up, with Ross Gaynor's chances of starting depending on injections from a local doctor, as the Dundalk medic doesn't travel to away games.
Colin Hawkins is definitely out after picking up a medial ligament injury, while the usual absentees of Stephen McDonnell, Stephen Maher and Eoghan Osborne will also not figure. The loss of centre-half Hawkins is a big blow for Dundalk manager Ian Foster.
"Colin has had some bad news," Foster said. "It's a grade two MCL sprain. The diagnosis at the minute is that it's going to be six weeks.
"That's disappointing for everyone around the football club, Colin included. It's not the news that we wanted. We knew he was in a lot of discomfort with it but we were all hoping for a grade one sprain. Unfortunately, it's grade two.
"He will be missing for probably the next four weeks now. He has missed two weeks already, having not played since the Shamrock Rovers game on September 3. So, that's disappointing."
The Gypsies should be stronger, with Ollie Cahill the only absentee in Pat Fenlon's squad, and the hosts will be confident of reaching the semi-final.
Verdict: Home win.