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Foster calls for calm ahead of Linfield clash

DUNDALK boss Ian Foster has appealed for calm ahead of Dundalk's Setanta Sports Cup debut against Linfield at Windsor Park on St Valentine's night, writes RUAIDHRI O'CONNOR.

The clubs have a history of violence stemming back to their European ties in the late 1970s, but both have made huge strides in healing their differences in recent times. A delegation of Dundalk fans travelled to Belfast last weekend to watch Linfield's 0-0 draw with Ballymena United.

The encounter between the Louthmen and the Irish League champions kicks off the sixth instalment of the cross-border competition.

"Obviously, there's a bit of history between the clubs," Foster said. "I just hope and pray that both games are sensible off the pitch and I'm sure it will be. We sent a contingent of fans up there on Saturday and they were taken down the Shankhill Road and it's been great. Hopefully the games go well and we get the right result."

Sporting Fingal also have a Valentine's date with Lisburn Distillery, while holders Bohemians will host Portadown on February 21 -- assuming they can field a team -- and Cliftonville take on St Patrick's Athletic on the same night.

Irish Independent