National Football League Division One
Kildare v Monaghan
Sunday, Newbridge, 2.45pm
By Shaun Casey
LAST weekend Monaghan finally got their first win of the league campaign and their first victory since beating Donegal in the McKenna Cup final.
It was the same opposition Seamus McEnaney’s men downed last Sunday, finally picking up the two points his side’s performances deserved.
It’s not that they haven’t been playing well, quite the opposite actually, but Monaghan have failed to see out games that they should have won.
Take their clash with Armagh in round three for example. Away from home and up against the side that had just defeated both Dublin and Tyrone, Monaghan were big underdogs before throw-in.
But they controlled the game for large parts and were the better team on the night, yet 16 wides meant they only left the Athletic Grounds with a share of the spoils.
The same happened in the opening round against the current All-Ireland champions Tyrone in Omagh. Monaghan were on top but had to scramble for a late score to get something from the game.
Last weekend was different, however. With 20 minutes left to play against Declan Bonner’s side, away from home once again, Monaghan edged in front by three points, thanks to a first-half Andrew Woods goal.
Unlike previous weeks, Monaghan saw out the rest of the game, outscoring their hosts 0-4 to 0-2 in the final quarter.
Their form hasn’t been the issue, it’s been their killer instinct in front of goal that has denied them the chance to climb further up the Division One table.
Kildare likewise only have one win from five games, coming in round four against Dublin. They also took a point off Kerry on the first day out.
Head-to-head with Tyrone has the Lilywhites in the relegation zone but they only sit one point behind Monaghan, and both need to win this weekend.
A worrying stat for Monaghan is that they’ve only taken points off the Ulster teams while losing to Mayo and Kerry.
But if we’re reading into recent trends, then the fact they are away from home this weekend should make for good reading for the Monaghan fans.
All four of their points have been secured on the road, but all three of Kildare’s have been picked up in the fortress that is Newbridge.
Something has to give this weekend and perhaps the smart bet would be a draw and with both teams vying for two points, it should be an exciting encounter.
READ MORE -Monaghan’s top club winners. Click here…