Dundalk -v- Cork CityThu, Aug 02 2012
Dundalk go into this game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Bohemians in Dalymount last weekend. The Lilywhites have had a mini-revival of some sort in recent weeks since Darius Kierans took up the role of caretaker manager.
A 1-1 draw with champions Shamrock Rovers was followed by the same result against Derry City a week later and had appeared to renew hope in the fans and indeed everyone connected with the club. Despite the defeat last weekend, optimism is good heading into this one. The club have been under the shroud of financial pressure throughout the season and this is the first time in a long time that there has been genuine optimism around Oriel Park.
Like many clubs in the transfer window, Dundalk have been rather busy in signing and letting players go. Robert Waters has left the club this week and became the sixth Lilywhite to depart which has further reduced the budget. Mark O’Brien has joined from neighbours Drogheda United while Lorcan Shannon has signed on loan until the end of the season from Shamrock Rovers. Paul Whelan, who signed last week, has been cleared to make his debut in Friday night’s match.
On the injury front, Conor McDonald should be available following his injury while John Mountney, who sustained a dead leg last week against Bohemians will hopefully be available for selection though is doubtful. Paul Walsh is also doubtful with a groin strain.
The Lilywhites will have to do without the injured Peter Thomas who has a shoulder injury, Liam Burns, who has a dead leg, Ben McLaughlin who has a thigh strain and Eoghan Osborne is still struggling with a shin injury. On the plus side, Dundalk have no suspensions to contend with.
Speaking to dundalkfc.com before the match, caretaker manager Darius Kierans is hopeful that his side can end their winless streak and embark on a run and is confident that it can start on Friday night.
“We’re hoping to get that win sooner rather than later, but the boys are working extremely hard, and there are a lot of positives to take out of all three performances. I think it’s only a matter of time before we can put a run together.
“Cork will offer a different test than Bohs, but if we can show more of the same spirit and have a bit more guile in the final third of the pitch, there is no reason why we can’t get a result.”
Cork City come into the game against Dundalk on an impressive unbeaten run which stretches back to February. They have drawn their last three games and will be hopeful of getting a win on the board which could lift them above Derry City into 7th and within touching distance of a European place. The Leesiders have been quite good on the road this season which will be of crucial benefit against Dundalk who have a poor home record.
Like their opponents, there has been some changes at Turners Cross this transfer window with Tadgh Purcell’s loan spell finishing and Shane O’Connor has departed to join champions Shamrock Rovers. Keigan Parker moved to Cork City but received a red card last week and will not be available for this weekend’s encounter.
For the trip to Oriel Park, Tommy Dunne has doubts over the fitness of Colin Healy who has a thigh strain but will be assessed at training before the match, Graham McCarthy is doubtful with an ankle knock while Cathal Lordan may miss out with a knee injury.
Striker Keigan Parker will definitely miss out through suspension following a red card last week against Shelbourne. Some positive news is that Gearoid Morrisey returns to the squad after recovering from injury.
Speaking ahead of the match to CorkCityFC.net, manager Tommy Dunne knows the problems Dundalk can pose and is expecting a tough game but last week’s performance has given the boss confidence.
“Dundalk are a team well capable of causing problems for anyone in this league as they have shown, and they are on a decent run at the moment. We need to be clued in and vigilant if we are to get a result.
“Individuals have done well over the course of the season, but last week I think we looked more solid collectively. Dundalk will be a different type of threat to Shelbourne and I have no doubt it will be a tough game.”
Referee: Damian Hancock
Cork City are on one of the best runs in the league currently 12 games unbeaten while Dundalk are on one of the worst with only one win in their last 14 outings and are winless in their last 10.
Dundalk haven’t won at home since the end of March when they overcame UCD 3-1.
Unusually for a league of Ireland match, neither side have former players in their ranks.
This is the first meeting between the sides at Oriel Park for almost three years. Dundalk ran out 1-0 winners that day, Tiernan Mulvenna grabbed the late winner.
Dundalk-3/1 Draw-9/4 Cork City-10/11
In what could prove to be a highly entertaining match, it may well end all square. 2-2.
Dundalk injury news: Eoghan Osborne(shin), Peter Thomas(shoulder), Liam Burns(dead leg), Ben McLaughlin(thigh), John Mountney(doubtful, dead leg) , Paul Walsh(doubtfu,groin) , Stephen McDonnell (groin) and Derek Foran (ankle)
Dundalk suspension news: None.
Cork City injury news: Colin Healy(doubtful thigh), Graham McCarthy(doubtful, ankle), Cathal Lordan(doubtful, knee)
Cork City suspension news: Keigan Parker.