3 March 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork City FC welcome Galway United to Turner’s Cross on Friday night, in the Rebel Army’s first home league fixture of 2017.
City followed up their 3-0 win over Dundalk in the President’s Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Finn Harps on the opening day, while Shane Keegan’s Galway fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Drogheda United.
Last season, the sides met three times sharing plenty of goals. Their first meeting, in April, saw the sides draw 2-2 at Eamon Deacy Park, before City secured two wins in the space of a couple of weeks; 5-3 at home and 5-0 away, towards the end of the season.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, City boss John Caulfield said: “We had over three thousand at the President’s Cup so, for the first league game at home, on the back of last week’s win, we hope to have a big crowd. I think the crowd have taken to the team since the cup victory. It is an exciting team and, in the history of this club, there are periods where things are down and then there are periods when things are good and, at the moment, I think this is a good time.”
“For the supporters, I think this team is an exciting one which will score goals and a good one to watch. I think teams will come down here to try and catch us on the break, so we need our supporters to get behind us and make as much noise as possible.”
“Galway have lots of attacking options and we are well aware of the threat they pose. Against Drogheda last week, they should probably have been three or four up at half time but the game changed when they went a goal behind. They would have been disappointed with the result, but I think Shane will have been happy with their performance for a lot of the game.”
“Our lads were brilliant last week. There are days when you have to dig in, battle and play to the conditions, and that is where intelligent players and good players understand that you have to pull out a performance and a result. Obviously, this week we will be at home, so it will be different kind of game on an excellent pitch, but we will not take anyone for granted.”
On the injury front, Steven Beattie is still being assessed; the Dubliner didn’t feature against Finn Harps last week due to fears that the heavy conditions might aggravate an ankle injury. Alan Bennett made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute in that win over Harps, but he will also be assessed ahead of tomorrow’s game. John Kavanagh, however, has been ruled out of tomorrow’s game through injury, as has Garry Buckley who will serve a one match suspension after his sending off last week.