Holders Cork City to host Athlone in FAI Cup

Holders Cork City have been rewarded with a home draw against First Division side Athlone Town in the second round of the 2017 FAI Cup.

Holders Cork City to host Athlone in FAI Cup

It means a return to Turner’s Cross for Athlone manager Roddy Collins whose extensive CV includes a brief spell managing Cork and it is also a second cup trip to Leeside in succession for the First Division side after they beat Ballincollig 5-0 in the First Round.

City, who triumphed over Dundalk in last year’s final, qualified for the second round by beating Bray Wanderers 1-0 at the Carlisle Grounds.

Yesterday’s draw threw up two all-Premier Division games, with St Patrick’s Athletic hosting Galway United and Limerick at home to Finn Harps while the years are set to be rolled back at Tolka Park when Shelbourne take on their old Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers.

Non-league sides Bangor Celtic and Bluebell United will have home advantage to give themselves some hope against Cabinteely and Longford Town respectively but Cobh Wanderers, who beat Killarney Celtic 3-0 in the first round, have to travel to United Park to face Premier Division strugglers Drogheda.

But the second round’s biggest act of giant-killing will be required of Crumlin United after the draw pitted the non-league team at home to Dundalk.

Fixtures will be played on the week ending Sunday, August 27, all with dates and times to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Stephen Bradley is relishing taking on the new version of one of his old clubs when Shamrock Rovers travel to the Markets Field to play Limerick in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division this evening (7.45pm).

“Limerick have changed a little bit since the new manager came in,” says the Hoops boss.

“I know they’ll be up for it and they’ll want to put on a performance in front of their fans. We’ve got to be ready for that and be ready to go and battle. They’re a really good club with some really good people behind the scenes.

“They try and do things the right way like ourselves. When I signed there their whole ambition was to get back to Markets Field. They’ve done that now and they’re building on it. It’s a great place to go and play, it’s a big pitch.”

In tonight’s other top-flight game, two clubs who didn’t make it into the second round of the FAI Cup meet at the Showgrounds (7.45pm), with visitors Bray Wanderers looking to get their league form back on track and hosts Sligo Rovers desperate to turn draws into wins.

FAI Cup second round draw:

Shelbourne v Shamrock Rovers; Bangor Celtic v Longford Town; St. Patrick’s Athletic v Galway United; Cork City v Athlone Town; Limerick v Finn Harps; Bluebell United v Cabinteely; Drogheda United v Cobh Wanderers and Crumlin United v Dundalk.

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