Last Friday’s 1-0 victory over Finn Harps at Turner’s Cross marked a series of firsts for Cork City this season: First win, first goal, and first clean sheet.
That result came as a much-needed morale boost for the Rebels after they had shipped 10 goals in their opening three games of the new Premier Division campaign.
Tomorrow night, they will be hoping to kick on by claiming their first away point or points against a St Patrick’s Athletic side who themselves have only one win to show so far, albeit having played a game less than this evening’s visitors to Richmond Park.
“There was a big buzz after the Finn Harps game,” says City boss Neale Fenn. “We were under a lot of scrutiny that we got the win. The crowd were fantastic — it was one of the best atmospheres I have experienced at the Cross.
“We are not looking at the league table or anything, we are just looking at picking up as many points as we can. Going up to places like Pat’s is always difficult: Stevie (O’Donnell) has got a good squad there but, like ourselves, they probably haven’t quite found their feet yet.
“But they will be a very difficult team. We know the way they play but, after winning on Friday, it has given us confidence and we will be going up there to see if we can get a result.”
Deshane Dalling misses out through suspension, while ‘keeper Liam Bossin joins Conor Davis on the sidelines after the injury he suffered in the win over Finn Harps. Gearóid Morrissey is a doubt having picked up a knock in the same game but Fenn is hopeful the captain will be available.
“On Friday, Dundalk are away to Finn Harps” is not a fixture announcement you would normally expect to hear on CNN World Sport but such was the case this week as the network gave primetime coverage to that stunning Jordan Flores goal against Shamrock Rovers — or, rather, ‘Shamrock’, as the anchorman would have it.
CNN also showed the player’s cracker in Dundalk’s previous game against Cork City so mention of tonight’s match in Finn Park came by way of alerting the world audience to keep tabs on whether Flores could make it a hat-trick of spectaculars in Ballybofey, where kick-off is at 8pm.
For Dundalk boss Vinny Perth, however, it will be more than enough if the champions get back to winning ways after coming out on the wrong side of that 3-2 thriller in Tallaght.
“Victory for the visitors tonight would bring them back level on points at the top of the table with the Hoops, at least until tomorrow’s battle of the Rovers at the Showgrounds in Sligo.
Elsewhere, Derry boss Declan Devine is expecting a tough test at the RSC after the Candystripes registered their first win of the season at home to Bohemians last time out.
“Alan Reynolds certainly knows what he’s doing and Waterford have recruited really well ahead of the season, including a couple of players we had been looking at ourselves,” says Devine.
“Brian Murphy is one of the best keepers in the league and gives them a very solid look at the back, so we know it will be a difficult night. I keep saying though that we have a really good squad ourselves.
“The boys were impressive against Bohs and we’ll be looking for more of the same on Friday.”
For their part, Bohemians will be looking to bounce back from that defeat in the Brandywell when they renew old acquaintance with Shelbourne at Dalymount Park (kick off 8pm, live on eir Sport).