Out of the frying pan, into the fire: after losing their opening game at home to promoted Shelbourne last week, Cork City tomorrow night face the daunting task of taking on FAI Cup-winners and predicted title contenders Shamrock Rovers in the new-look side’s their first away test of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season.
With the celebrations still in full swing around him at Oriel Park after Dundalk’s title-clinching 3-2 victory over Shamrock Rovers on Monday night, Vinny Perth took the opportunity to reveal that replicating Derry City’s unique 1989 treble was something he and his players had consciously set as a target at the start of this season.
You have to go back 88 days to find the last time Cork City ended an SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match with three points. Summer has come and gone since, and alarmingly, a mini-revival by Finn Harps in the meantime has left the 2018 league and cup runners-up looking over their shoulders.
Now without a win in six league games and having failed to score yet again, Cork City’s season shows no sign of improving judging on yesterday’s disappointing scoreless draw against fellow strugglers Sligo Rovers at Turner’s Cross.
In a week that began in abject defeat to Derry City at the same venue, St Patrick’s produced one of their best displays of the campaign back at Richmond Park to mark the news on Thursday that they look to have a back door entry into the Europa League this summer.
The first Munster derby of the new SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season is all about showing ‘bouncebackability’, with both Cork City and Waterford smarting from defeats on the opening night and anxious to get their first points on the board at Turner’s Cross this evening.
A superb header from man of the match Graham Cummins five minutes into the second half saw Cork City return to winning ways and keep their 100% home record intact this season after a hard fought victory over a battling St Pat’s at Turner’s Cross last night.
Cork City boss John Caulfield believes Conor McCormack was “targeted” against Dundalk at the weekend and will restore faith in his skipper as the champions face Shamrock Rovers at Turner’s Cross this evening (7.45pm).
When Cork City pitched up at Dalymount Park for their 30th league game of this 2017 campaign it marked four years to the very day since he had claimed the title with St Patrick’s Athletic thanks to a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers in Inchicore.
With third-placed Derry City not in action until Sunday when they host Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers will tonight aim to close the gap on the Candystripes in their bid to claim a European place when they visit Eamonn Deacy Park to take on Galway United.
Cork City can now turn their sights towards Thursday’s big Europa League clash with AEK Larnaca after yesterday’s deserved 1-0 victory over 10-man St Patrick’s Athletic saw them extend their lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League to 12 points with two games in hand on second-placed Dundalk.