Cork City might be the team harbouring realistic dreams of a glorious double but Limerick will have designs on a notable double of their own when they travel to Turner’s Cross for tonight’s FAI Cup semi-final.
A week ago, Limerick shocked the league champions-elect by beating them 2-1 at the Markets Field, a result which has given them the belief they can make it back to back wins against their Munster rivals tonight.
“We’re big underdogs but had we lost last Friday we probably wouldn’t have any expectations going to Turner’s Cross,” admits Limerick’s Dean Clarke.
“That result sets the tone and we’re full of confidence.” But City too are entitled to feel renewed confidence after they bounced back from that defeat to perform impressively against Dundalk in the 1-1 draw last Monday which took John Caulfield’s men a step closer to the title.
“Monday night proved we are back on track and that is what we needed,” says the City manager. “Last Friday night will have no bearing on this game. It is a cup game, a one-off with a trip to the Aviva for the winners. We know the team they will play and we know what they are about. If we concede and let them play on the counter-attack, we will be in trouble.
“We need to play like we did on Monday, with our intensity and trying to get ahead. I think Monday will give us confidence, as will being at home. It’s a semi-final, it’s the cup we won last year and it is a chance to go to the Aviva.”
Among the Limerick players City know only too well is their former striker Chiedozie Ogbene who was named man of the match after the victory in the Markets Field last week.
“I thought the Cork players feared Chiedoze,” says his team-mate Dean Clarke.
“They were scared about letting him in behind. He’s a confident boy. In his interview after that game, he said he wants people to know who he is. He’s definitely getting there and if you’re a defender playing against him, you’re going to know all about him.”
Cup-holders City have concerns about Steven Beattie, Kieran Sadlier, Alan Bennett, and Stephen Dooley, all of whom will be assessed ahead of tonight’s game, the winners of which will have to wait until Sunday’s other semi-final between Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park to learn who they will meet in this year’s final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday Novermber 5. Should this evening’s game at Turner’s Cross require a replay, it will be played next Monday, October 2.
In tonight’s only SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game, Drogheda United, staring relegation in the face, travel to Maginn Park to take on Derry City in a rescheduled fixture.
Meanwhile, the FAI Disciplinary Committee confirmed yesterday that Wexford be fined and forfeit their recent First Division game against Shelbourne for fielding an ineligible player.
The original 1-1 draw is now deemed to be a 3-0 victory to Shelbourne and, as a result, the First Division table has changed slightly with Shels moving onto 37 points.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved