Cobh Ramblers host play-off chasing Drogheda United at St Colman’s Park, in both sides' last game of the season (kick-off 7.45pm).
Cobh come in their last league game of the season off the back of a 3-1 defeat to Derry City in the EA SPORTS Cup final on Sunday.
Stephen Henderson’s side gave a good account of themselves at the Brandywell, and should be delighted with themselves with getting to the final, but ultimately Derry had too much quality.
Ronan Hale scored first on 23 minutes but Chris Hull equalised for the Rams three minutes later.
Darren Cole and Aaron McEneff both scored in the second half to hand Cobh defeat in their maiden national cup final appearance (match report here).
It is fair to say that the Cork club have struggled to match the heights of last season, where they finished second with 51 points in aseason where the playoffs were scrapped due to the league restructure.
With only tonight’s game left to play, they are in a battle with Cabinteely to finish in seventh position.
For that to happen, they need to beat Drogheda tonight and hope Cabo lose away to Finn Harps.
Anything less and they will finish in eighth place, a far cry from their high position achieved last year.
Tonight’s game is also an opportunity for Henderson and Co to end their disappointing league season on a high in front of their fans.
Cobh will give late fitness tests to Jason Kabia and Denzel Fernandez ahead of the game.
Drogheda United will be hoping to cement their play-off place when they travel to Cobh on the final night of the regular season.
The Drogs moved back into the play-offs last week as they came from behind to defeat Longford Town 2-1 at United Park.
Dean Dillon struck an early opener for the visitors but goals in either half from Gareth McCaffrey secured a crucial win for the Boynesiders.
“I thought we were fantastic,” their delighted manager Tim Clancy explained on Friday morning.
“It was such a blow to concede the first goal but we’ve shown time and time again this season that we don’t know when we’re beaten.
“Longford are a quality side but we created so many chances on the night. The game was a little bit stretched for my liking but we knew we had to go for the win.
“I thought we fully deserved the three points and I was delighted for Gareth McCaffrey to come up with two massive goals for us.”
Drogheda know that a win guarantees at least fourth position in the table but anything less than a victory will leave the Drogs relying on a favour from First Division champions UCD away at Longford Town.
Cobh will be hoping to end their campaign on a high having been beaten in the EA Sports Cup Final by Derry City on Sunday with Clancy anticipating a difficult test.
“We’ve beaten Cobh twice this season but they were much improved in the second game at United Park.
“It was a brilliant achievement from them to reach the EA Sports Cup Final and, on another day, they could’ve caused a real upset.
“They’ll be desperate to end their season with a win in front of their fans but it’s up to us to finish off the job we started last week.
“It’s been our goal all season to make the play-offs and we need to ensure that the last eight months of hard work won’t be in vain.”
Referee: David Dunne.
Both sides have met 11 times competitively. Drogheda have won seven, Cobh have won two and there has been two draws. There has been an average of 2.6 goals per game in those 11 games.
From the two league meetings between the pair this season, Drogheda have a 100% record.
Drogheda won 5-1 at St Colman’s Park in April and won 2-1 at United Park at the end of June.
Cobh have a points total of 29, with a -15 goal difference. The Boynesiders have a total of 46 points, with a +21 goal difference.
Should Cabinteely lose away to Finn Harps and Cobh win tonight, Stephen Henderson’s side will finish in 7th place in the table.
This is Cobh’s 13th and final home game of the season. From their 12 games at home, they only have three wins and have scored eight goals.
Sean Brennan is Drogheda’s top scorer with ten goals, while Cian Leonard has four for the Leesiders.
Cobh’s last five games: LWDDL
Drogheda’s last five games: WLLDW
Cobh Ramblers 10/3; Draw 5/2; Drogheda United 4/6
Cobh Ramblers 0-1 Drogheda United
Doubtful: Denzel Fernandez, Jason Kabia.