3 June 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
What: Cork City FC v Dundalk
When: Tonight 3 June 2016 at 8pm
Where: Turner’s Cross, Cork
It’s a top of the table clash at Turner’s Cross tonight, as Cork City entertain Dundalk in the final game for both sides before the mid-season break.
Following their impressive 3-0 victory away to Longford Town on Sunday, City have now amassed seven consecutive league wins on the spin, conceding a paltry two goals in the process. And it’s not just the defence that have starred; when you also add in the FAI Cup victory against St. Peter’s of Athlone, City’s sharpshooters have racked up eighteen goals in their last eight games.
Dundalk, meanwhile, scored late last weekend to see off Wexford Youths, coming from behind to defeat Shane Keegan’s men 3-2 at Oriel Park. Dundalk’s sole league defeat this season has come at home to Cork City in the first round of games, with Sean Maguire’s penalty earning City their first league win at Oriel Park since 2009.
The two sides have met on one other occasion this season, with City recording a 2-0 win in the season curtain raiser, the President’s Cup. Goals from Gavan Holohan and Sean Maguire were enough to lift the trophy in a hard-fought affair at Turner’s Cross, with Brian Gartland seeing red towards the end of the game.
In total, the sides have met sixty-two times in the league, with City winning nineteen to Dundalk’s twenty-six, while they have drawn on a further seventeen occasions.
Speaking at the club’s weekly press conference ahead of the game, City boss John Caulfield said: “It’s a great game for us. Dundalk have set a great pace since the start of the season, but we have been doing very well and we have won seven in a row to put ourselves right in there. It’s a massive match, we are four points behind but we are in a good position and I am happy with the way things have gone.”
“We hadn’t beaten them since I had taken over, but, this year, we have beaten them twice in two games, which has given us great encouragement. We are keeping clean sheets and doing the basics right, but we are scoring more goals than in other years and we have a number of goalscorers which is important. We want to win the game and, being at home, we are expecting a massive atmosphere.”
“From our point of view, it’s a new team this year. We had a bit of a hiccup at the start of the year with three draws, but we have done really well and responded with seven wins in a row. It’s a big challenge to us but we have kept the head down and worked really hard, so we look at Friday night as an opportunity to win the match. “
“We just have to look after ourselves. It is a different challenge this week compared to last week. They have been the champions for the last two years and deservedly so, and it is up to other teams to challenge them. Everyone wants to see the league run to the end of the season, but if we don’t stay with them, nobody else will. We want to put it up to them, go one better and win it this year.”
Caulfield may have to do without the services of Karl Sheppard, John Dunleavy, Kenny Browne and Garry Buckley, with the latter the most likely to be available.
Injury News: Karl Sheppard, John Dunleavy, Garry Buckley, Kenny Browne
Last Game: Longford Town 0-3 Cork City
Last Meeting: Dundalk 0-1 Cork City
Last Meeting at Turner’s Cross: Cork City 2-0 Dundalk
League Form (most recent game first): W W W W W W W D D D