Sunday 18 February 2018

Records at stake in Cork encounter

John Caulfield's Cork City have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season
John Caulfield's Cork City have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

A winning run must come to an end when Cork City host St Patrick's Athletic in the EA Sports Cup today.

Cork have an unblemished domestic record this term, with 11 from 11 in the league and smooth progression past Limerick to reach this stage of the competition.

They face a St Pat's side which has not lost a match in this competition since 2014.

John Caulfield has indicated that he will shuffle the Cork deck, with nine changes on the cards. Key performers Sean Maguire, Karl Sheppard and Conor McCormack will sit it out due to knocks they picked up in Friday's win over Bray. Alan Bennett and Garry Buckley remain on the sidelines, so this will be a test for the runaway league leaders' second string.

Dundalk will mix things up for the visit of First Division challengers Waterford - an encounter between two sides that have failed to live up to their pre-season billing as favourites in their respective leagues.

The Louth men are 12 points behind Cork, while Waterford are one behind Cobh Ramblers.

Friday's loss in Galway was a shock to the system for Dundalk, with the champions unable to convert possession into decent chances and then conceding at the death.

"We should have found a way to win the game," said goalkeeper Gary Rogers.

"We didn't create enough chances ourselves in the second-half. It left us open to the goal in the last minute, which is what happened."

Galway will hope to keep the good vibes going in their Connacht derby with Sligo Rovers and their new boss Gerard Lyttle.

"We feel that we're good enough to put a run together that would leave us heading off on the break out of the relegation zone and in the semi-final of the EA Sports Cup," says Galway boss Shane Keegan.

Irish Independent

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