Galway won't be a pushover for Cork City on their own turf

Galway won't be a pushover for Cork City on their own turf

Cork’s Seán Maguire scoring his side’s fifth goal from the penalty spot against Finn Harps. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

Barbara O'Connell

Soccer

THE Rebel Army head to Galway tonight, looking to maintain their 100% win record in this year’s Airtricity Premier League.

On paper this should be an easy win for the league leaders.

City lead the way on 36 points. City are 12 wins from 12 games. Galway, lie bottom of the table, on nine points, having only won one game all year.lead the way on 36 points. City are 12 wins from 12 games. Galway, lie bottom of the table, on nine points, having only won one game all year.

That was a shock home win over Dundalk, but other than that, they have drawn six and lost four times. They have only scored 10 times, while conceding 16 in their 12 games to date.

It’s a clash of David versus Goliath.

And, as it was in the fairytale, David has a sporting chance.

In fact, David always has a chance in every game between two sides, no matter what the formbook says.

Games are played on grass and City should not pay any attention to the table or what Galway have done to date.

On their night Galway can trouble any side. 

They beat Dundalk recently and have only lost one of their last six games. 

They are drawing lots of games, so despite their current points total, they have not been far away in all the games they play.

Excluding their away trip to Turner’s Cross, where they were beaten 4-0, they have yet to take a hammering. 

Look at their other losses all year.  They have lost all their other games by one goal.

The point I am trying to make here is that City need to be focused tonight.  They need to arrive with their A game and play the game like it’s a final.

City cannot afford to be complacent. If they are complacent, then it gives Galway an opportunity to compete and they could put it up to the league leaders. But, from what we have seen so far this season, this is unlikely to happen.

And it won’t happen for a number of reasons.  This year City’s squad is the best ever that has been assembled by the club.  Getting into the first team is a very difficult task and all those in the current line-up know that they have to be very good each and every week to stay in the side.

With the quality of the players on the sidelines, chomping at the bit to get a game, that removes complacency from the player’s thoughts. That is a huge bonus for John Caulfield. It means he has very little motivating to do before games. 

All the starting XI have to do is just look at those on the bench, itching to take their place and that should keep them on their toes, no matter who the opposition are or where they lie in the league table.

The other reason City won’t be complacent is that this bunch of players are on a mission this season. From speaking to them, they all realise they have a great chance to make history this year. They know they have a unique chance to break records this year and I expect that they will. City also have far better players that Galway and this will be a huge factor in deciding the outcome. 

And some of City’s players are currently the best players in the league.

No one on any team in the league is playing better than Seanie Maguire, Karl Sheppard (injured unfortunately), Stephen Dooley and Gearoid Morrissey. 

Gearóid Morrissey. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Gearóid Morrissey. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

No defence is better than City's. No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets than Mark McNulty.

No other team has been as consistent or good all year. That won’t change tonight and I can see City winning this game by two or three clear goals.

Finally, a word on Cork’s other national league team, Cobh Ramblers. Stephen Henderson and his team are doing remarkably well and face Cabinteely at home tonight. Hopefully, they can return to winning ways and keep themselves in the hunt for promotion.

With only one team coming up this season, I’d love it if it was Cobh. I’ll be there to cheer them on tonight. They play a great brand of football and if you are not going to Galway, why not make a visit to St Colman’s Park and see them live.

As the ad says, you can’t beat being there.

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