Shelbourne -v- Cork CitySat, Oct 13 2012
Manager Alan Mathews said he was “bitterly disappointed” to be knocked out of the FAI Cup by Derry City on Wednesday night but his side will have no time to dwell on that displeasure as they have to pick themselves back up quickly as they host Cork City in Tolka Park on Saturday (kick-off 8pm).
The sides are separated by three places in the league table but the gap between them is just two points, and Shels could jump above their mid-table company with a win in their last home game of the season.
Mathews said of the game: “You know who you’re playing. You know what strengths they have and what weakness you try to exploit. You know what you’re going to get from most sides. We’ve played and seen each other so often this season already.”
Indeed, the Dubliners have played out two close games against Cork City in the league this season, drawing in Cork and losing by one goal in Drumcondra. They must also contend with sliding form, without a win in their last four games.
They will be without Gareth Mathews for this tie after he was shown a red card against Drogheda United, while Ian Ryan (hip) and Paddy Kavanagh (knee) are also unlikely to feature.
Tommy Dunne’s Cork City will look to make fifth place in the league their own and continue their recent good form against Shels, hoping to repeat their 2-1 win at Tolka Park from earlier in the season.
They drew 0-0 draw with Sligo Rovers last time out and Dunne told CorkCityFC.net that he expects a tough encounter with Shels.
He said: “Now that Shelbourne have exited the cup, they will be looking to bounce back from that as soon as they can. With the rivalry that exists between the two clubs, Tolka Park is always a tough place to travel.
“We have a decent record there in recent games, but I have no doubt that Shelbourne will be looking to rectify that on Saturday, so it is important that we play well if we are to get a result. If we can get a win, it would give us a huge boost in our efforts to claim a fifth place finish.”
Gearóid Morrissey returns from suspension, but the Rebels will be without the injured Garry Buckley (knee), while Brian Lenihan is a doubt with a back problem. Dunne also confirmed that striker Keigan Parker has left the club to return to Scotland for personal reasons.
Referee: R. Rogers
Almost 12 months have passed since Cork City beat Shelbourne 2-1 at Tolka Park (October 27, 2011) to clinch the First Division title – a result they repeated in the Premier Division at the same ground in April.
Both sides have three wins in their last 10 league games and only one point separates their respective tallies over that period. However, City are unbeaten in their last four with two wins and two draws, while Shels are without a win in their last four with two draws and two defeats.
Alan Mathews’ men have conceded 21 goals at home this season (14 games). City have conceded just 14 while playing away (13 games).
Shelbourne 15/8; Draw 12/5; Cork City 9/5
Shelbourne 0-1 Cork City
Shelbourne Injury News: Ian Ryan, Paddy Kavanagh
Shelbourne Injury Doubts: None
Shelbourne Suspension News: Gareth Mathews
Cork City Injury News: Garry Buckley
Cork City Doubts: Brian Lenihan
Cork City Unavailable: Keigan Parker
Cork City Suspension News: None