Saturday 24 March 2018

Candystripes have no reason to fear Shelbourne, insists Devine

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

ON PAPER, by earning a home replay after their clash at the Brandywell, Shelbourne swung the balance of their FAI Ford Cup semi-final against Derry City in their favour, but it might not be that simple.

In times gone by, the Foyleside venue was a place to be feared, but this year that has not been the case. Similarly, Shels' record at Tolka Park has been poor. It appears to be all to play for tonight.

And Candystripes boss Declan Devine feels his side have nothing to fear when they travel to Dublin.

"We respect going away from home against good opposition and it's going to be a very difficult game," he said.

"But in terms of fear factor, there is none. I felt we totally dominated the second half (of the drawn game). Our approach play in the second half was very good.

"We passed the ball very well and asked questions of their back-four. That's what we want again."

Devine has worries over the fitness of striker Rory Patterson, who started Sunday's draw after a long absence, midfielder Barry Molloy and winger Stephen McLaughlin.

Beaten finalists last year, Shels are aiming to go one better this time, with St Patrick's Athletic awaiting the winner of tonight's replay in the decider.

Manager Alan Mathews is an experienced FAI Cup campaigner and reckons the result on Sunday will stand to his charges.

"It was a difficult game on Sunday, to go up and play a game at lunch hour, something we're not used to, but the guys adapted really well," he said.

"Some of the guys hadn't really had 90 minutes under their belt for the last couple of weeks for various reasons.

"They produced a really hard-working performance. We prepared well for Sunday and will again for the replay.

"We're ready to go and we're ready to get a result."

Although their record at Tolka is far from perfect, Shels have strong Cup pedigree and look set to make it back to Lansdowne Road for an all-Dublin final.

Shelbourne v Derry City

(Tolka Park, 8.0)

Odds: Shelbourne evens, Derry City 12/5, Draw 11/5

Referee: A Buttimer (Cork)

Verdict: Home win

Irish Independent

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