Graham Cummins 49' -
CORK CITY FC
Following last week’s derby disappointment in Waterford, John Caulfield’s side will be hoping to bounce back at the expense of St. Patrick’s Athletic in Turner’s Cross (kick off 7:45).
In what was a boom to bust display last week at the RSC, City had an ideal first half following Conor McCarthy’s opener after less than two minutes. However, a tumultuous second half which saw an own goal from captain Conor McCormack, and a free header from Courtney Duffus, sent the three points over the boarder as the Champions endured their second loss of the 2018 season.
Scenes of disappointment where further marred following on the pitch altercation between both teams, which saw six sent off including Cork City’s John Caulfield. Without their talismanic manager on Friday, City will be hoping to regain composure.
Speaking ahead of the game; John Caulfield was keen to take advantage of the home atmosphere against at emerging Pats side,
“We are at home; we’ve played nine matches so far, only three of which have been at home, so now we have a couple of home games to see if we can make our home form count. We have won our three home games so far and we want to continue that form. We know that St. Pat’s are in a good run of form at the moment, but it is really about ourselves and getting back to playing well, creating chances and trying to take them, and defending better than we did last week.”
Reflecting on last week’s loss, Caulfield was adamant that the best was yet to come form the 2017 double winners.
“I still feel that, within the team, within the group, there is an awful lot more in us. Even though we have only a quarter of the season gone, I feel there is an awful lot we can improve on. When new players come in, it does take time to adapt; they have done really well but there is a lot more in us yet. At times this season we have looked really good, but we haven’t done it as consistently as we have over the last few years.”
Cork City FC will be out the suspended Steven Beattie and Gary Buckley, while John Caulfield will be in the stand. Elsewhere, Alan Bennett is doubtful with Johnny Dunleavy also sidelined.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
The Saints return to league action following a helter skelter week for Liam’s Buckley side who scored nine goals and conceded four following encounters with Bray Wanderers and Dundalk. In what has been a mixed few weeks for St. Pats, they recorded their biggest win of the season last Friday with a 5-0 at Richmond Park, before a 4-4 extra time and penalties classic against in the EA Sports Cup.
Tonight will be a different challenge for the Saints, will Liam Buckley hoping to get his first league win at Turners Cross since May 2013.
Addressing the media, Liam Buckley was weary of the task at hand as he travels to the fortress of Turners Cross.
"We are facing an excellent Cork City side on Friday night and traveling to Turner's Cross is always a very challenging prospect. In spite of that though, the players know that we can expect a great playing surface there and we have the ability to give them a good game. I expect both teams to play good football on the night so it should be a good game for the neutral at it."
Despite this praise, Buckley was confident while drawing from his side’s earlier 3-2 loss against the Rebel Army on the opening day of the season.
"We had a very close game with Cork City on the opening night of the season in Inchicore and we have to go into this game with the belief that we can get a result. A lot of players have been pushing hard to get into the first 11 so I'm pleased with the effort levels of the whole squad over the last few weeks. Hopefully they can be rewarded with their hard work with a good result on Friday against Cork."
In team news, St. Pats travel to Cork with a full squad going into tonight’s tie.
Referee: Robert Hennessey
The last league meeting between the sides was on the opening day of the season with Cork City emerging 3-2 winners at Richmond Park. Goals from Barry McNamee and Graham Cummins gave City a 2-0 lead inside ten minutes, but a surge from the Saints saw Ian Birmingham and Conan Byrne put the Saints back level. With less than ten minutes to play, a loose ball in the area from a Kieran Sadler corner drifted in, giving City the three points despite the spirited comeback from the home side.
Cork City, following last week’s defeat to Waterford, are now third in the table, with a win tonight potentially seeing the Leesider’s regain top spot from title rivals Dundalk.
Liam Buckley’s side come in tonight resting firmly in missable on sixth place with thirteen points with a win potentially seeing his side move up to fifth.
St. Pats last league win in Turner’s Cross was in 2013, with the Saints only other victory coming in 2015 in the EA Sports Cup quarter finals when they nipped past the Leesiders on penalties in Turner’s Cross.
Cork City 4/6 Draw 13/5 St. Patrick’s Athletic 7/2.
Cork City FC 2-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Cork City FC:
Injured: Johnny Dunleavy.
Doubtful: Alan Bennett.
Suspended: Gary Buckley, Steven Beattie.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: