Having hit his 100th goal for Dundalk against St Patrick’s Athletic last weekend, Patrick Hoban will be hoping to keep his fine scoring run going at Dalymount Park this Friday against a Bohemians side who he has scored more goals for the Lilywhites against than anyone else.
The 29-year-old became just the sixth player in the club’s history to hit the 100 goal mark with his 23rd minute opener against Pat’s. That saw him join illustrious names including Joey Donnelly, Eddie Carroll, Joe Martin, Paddy Turner and Jimmy Hasty at the top of the club’s all-time goalscoring charts.
Twelve of Hoban’s 100 goals have come against Friday night’s opponents Bohemians and he is determined to keep that run going having now clocked up six goals from six matches so far this season.
“Hopefully that continues next week,” he said when his Bohs record was put to him.
“We need a good week of training now to prepare mentally for it and prepare properly for this game to make sure we win it.”
Not even the landmark could take away from Hoban’s frustration at Friday night’s result, with Shamrock Rovers’ subsequent defeat of Finn Harps less than 24 hours ensuring they moved five points clear of the Lilywhites at the top of the table.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hoban said when asked about the result on Friday.
“We knew they were going to come up with that game plan. We basically found out about it on Tuesday and that they were just going to press us but we just didn’t take ownership, simple as.
“There were spaces there for us to go and play and we didn’t do it.
“Conceding straight away after I scored is just not good enough at any level no matter what level you play at. If we had just held it at 1-0 for a while the game would have opened up a bit more and we could have got our foot on the ball but, in my opinion, that’s not good enough.”
Hoban also refused to use the death of beloved groundsman and cameraman Harry Taaffe as an excuse for a below par display.
“It was difficult,” he said of the week just gone.
“We lost a great man who was brilliant for the club, brilliant for the players, brilliant for the community and brilliant for me personally.
“We did lose a great man but that’s still no excuse when it comes to a game of football.
“It has been really tough because Harry did so much for everybody in there but we should have got a result tonight that was a lot better than that and we should have played a lot better than that too but we have to shake ourselves down and make sure we’re ready for next week.
“We need to focus on Friday and push on from this because we need to be a lot better than that,” he said.
With Rovers the only side in either division to win at home at the weekend, Hoban is hoping for a few other surprise results this weekend but insists that having so few games to battle it out for the league is wrong.
“Hopefully teams do take points off each other but this is not playing to win a league, this is playing to win a Champions League spot. I still want to win it, don’t get me wrong, but we need to be a lot better than that.
“We were good in spells today but when you go 1-0 ahead in games, you can’t concede a goal like that that quickly because we were in control. That’s just a bit frustrating for me but like I say we just need to dust ourselves down and go again next week.”
Hoban also said that playing on grass would suit his side this week.
“We can’t use that as an excuse because we get to train on it during the week but it has not been great,” he said of the Oriel Park surface.
“As you can see, the ball is bouncing everywhere. I was a bit disappointed that the rain didn’t last longer today. Grass does suit us better but there’s still no excuses there. There were chances to play and beat the press and we didn’t take ownership as players and we need to be a lot better than that,” he said.