WITH the FAI Cup now Derry City’s only prospect of securing silverware this season, it comes as no surprise that Peter Hutton’s homework on Edenderry Town has been thorough.
And having opted to travel south on Wednesday night to watch the Leinster Senior League side lose 2-1 against Dublin City University in a league game, the Brandywell boss is now fully aware of the task which his side faces on Sunday afternoon at Paddy Maloney Park. (2.00 p.m.)
“We’ve also had them watched in the Gilligan Cup final but after they lost that one 6-2, I felt it was important to have another look and while they lost 2-1 to the University side, Edenderry had a man sent off but still could and should have taken something form the match,” claimed Hutton.
“They levelled matters at 1-1 after having been reduced to 10 men and while DCU netted a second goal, Edenderry still had chances to equaliser and but for a top drawer save by the Unversity side’s keeper, they would have taken a point from the game,” added the Derry boss.
MEAN DEFENCE IN LEAGUE
Hutton also confirmed that not only were Sunday’s opponents considered “the meanest defence in their league,” they were well organised and well drilled.
“I felt they were aggressive and very direct in their play against DCU.
“ They look to be a physically strong team with a central defender and central midfielder standing well over 6 ft. tall so they could prove to be a handfull in set-piece situations and we’ll have to be on our guard.
“Their side appears to be dominated by locally based players and, indeed, quite a few of them also represent the local GAA club as they appeared to be physically strong and aggressive.
“So we must match that physicality without doing anything silly and be prepared to be playing in front of a local crowd, based within the Edenderry community.
“This game will be viewed as a community event and they will be keen to impress. After all, this could be their cup final and we must be respectful, but disciplined as we attempt to get the job done.
“It may be a big match for Edenderry, but it’s also a big match for us.
“I expect them to be very defensive, they certainly will not go gung-ho, so we must also be patient and be clinical when positioned in front of goal.
“All the well worn cliches will be used for this one as it is a potential banana skin with Edenderry keen to be responsible for a giant-killing act.”
On the team front, Derry will be boosted by Patrick McEleney’s return to action although the striker did step out of one training session this week having tweaked his neck.
“Patrick has been receiving treatment and should be okay for Sunday. He returned against Sligo which was probably earlier than we had expected, but he’s acquitted himself well and he’s keen to get back to full fitness,” continued Hutton.
Definitely out due to injury are Stephen Dooley (back) and Ryan McBride (hamstring) while central midfielder, Philip Lowry, is considered extremely doubtful having been a victim of an X-rated tackle during last weekend’s home game against Sligo.
“Philip has not trained at all this week and, therefore, it’s unlikely that he will play on Sunday. He continues to experience severe pain in his leg and don’t expect that to change before the weekend.”