Barely have they seen the back of each other in the FAI Cup, than Cork City and Shamrock Rovers meet again in the Airtricity League Premier Division tonight.
Rovers came out on top in the cup, winning 2-0 in Tallaght, but as he prepares to face the Hoops at Turner’s Cross, City boss Tommy Dunne reckons that scoreline didn’t do justice to his team’s performance.
“Looking back at last week’s game, I felt there was very little in it over the first 70 minutes,” he reflected.
“We competed well, but a lapse in concentration from a set-piece gave Rovers the lead, and then they hit a great strike to double their advantage. Up to that point, we had two good chances, and had we taken them, it could have been a different story. However we didn’t take those chances, and we now have to focus on this game and look to pick up the three points here at Turner’s Cross.”
As was the case last week, Dunne has a lengthy list of absentees going into the game. Mark McNulty, Danny Murphy and Vinny Sullivan are all suspended for the tie, while John Dunleavy (ankle), Colin Healy (thigh strain), Cathal Lordan (knee) and Eoghan Murphy (ankle) are all ruled out through injury. Davin O’Neill is also a doubt with a chest infection. Dunne is hopeful Healy and Dunleavy will be fit to return for the game against Bray on September 10.
For Shamrock Rovers, it looks like nothing less than a win will do as, with leaders Sligo Rovers not in action, the defending champions travel to Cork looking to cut the 11-point gap which separates first from third.
“You have to fight for everything you get at Turner’s Cross, and I’ve no doubt that’ll be the same tomorrow,” said manager Stephen Kenny. “But we will travel with confidence.”
Having lost to Rovers and Cork in their last two league outings, second-placed Drogheda host neighbours Dundalk tonight as they seek to reduced Sligo’s lead to six points.
“This game is massively important for us and Dundalk, but for different reasons,” said Drogheda boss Mick Cooke. “We are looking to stay in the top four and they will want to move off the bottom, so it has all the hallmarks of being a classic Louth derby.”
In tonight’s two other Premier Division games UCD play Bray Wanderers at the UCD Bowl and Shels welcome Derry City to Tolka Park (8pm).
In the First Division, the pick of the games sees first play third as Limerick host Waterford United at Jackman Park. Elsewhere, it’s Athlone Town v Longford Town, Lisseywoollen; Mervue United v Finn Harps, Fahy’s Field; and Wexford Youths v SD Galway, Ferrycarrig Park (8pm). All games kick off at 7.45pm unless indicated.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved