FAI Cup R3
Date: 8 p.m. June 4, 2010
Venue: Tallaght Stadium
On paper this may appear as a no brainer. Rovers, competing at the sharp end of the Premier Division, have a squad that is packed with quality and should, in theory, be well able to cope with a First Division side whose season was threatening to fall apart just a few short weeks ago.
Back in April Wexford lost to Limerick at Jackman Park only hours after hearing that three of their seven league points had been deducted for fielding an ineligible player against Salthill Devon. With eight games played and only four points on the board Wexford were second bottom of the First Division and looking down, not up.
But since then Wexford, with a squad hewn from the local youth leagues, have won five of their six league games and shown the kind of resilience that tends to accompany teams of genuine worth. Two major obstacles to Wexford’s giant killing aspirations will be the absence through suspension of key midfielder Paul Malone and regular left back Anthony Russell.
Rovers meanwhile will welcome back Craig Sives who missed out on their EA Sports Cup win in Derry on Tuesday night. But Paddy Kavanagh is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in that game.
Rover’s boss Michael O’Neill is also pleased to have Dessie Baker back to full fitness “It was always good to see Dessie back on the scoresheet. It’s great to have him back in the side. Dessie and Twigg playing together will always give you a strong threat in front of goal.”
Having narrowly beaten Wexford 2-1 in the first round of the Leinster Senior Cup back in February, O’Neill is aware of what his opponents have to offer. “We will need to be patient in this game. Wexford are a very well organised side, and we are not expecting it to be easy. We should have a lot of possession, but we will need to be more cutting going forward, than maybe we have been. We will also need the fans to be patient.
“But having Twigg and Baker back gives us an edge. The aim is to get through to the next round; but we will be looking to improve on Tuesday’s performance also.”
Injured: Pat Sullivan.
Doubtful: Paddy Kavanagh.
Injured: Not Available.
Doubtful: Not Available.
Suspended: Paul Malone, Anthony Russell.
Referee: T Connolly
Extratime prediction: A 2-0 win for Rovers