Athlone will offer a tough test at the Cross for underperforming Cork City

Cobh Ramblers are also in action away to Treaty United
Athlone will offer a tough test at the Cross for underperforming Cork City

Cabinteely's Alex Aspil is tackled by Gearoid Morrissey and Cian Coleman of Cork City. Picture:  INPHO/Bryan Keane

AFTER last week’s disappointing results, both Cork City and Cobh Ramblers will be hoping for a better performance and result on Friday evening.

Last weekend in the second week of the season fixtures, City had a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Cabinteely, while Cobh had an unexpectedly heavy defeat at home to UCD.

Cork City play host to Athlone this weekend, which will be another tough test for Colin Healy’s side. The Town come into this game having beaten John Caulfield’s Galway side 3-1. Adrian Carberry’s men will come to the Cross full of confidence.

Although City enjoyed much of the possession in last week’s game against Cabinteely, it wasn’t a good performance, it lacked any real spark and they failed to score which meant a 59th-minute goal by Keith Dalton proved to be the winner, much to the disappointment of Healy and the lads.

Healy made two changes to the starting lineup from their opening game against Cobh. Steven Beattie replaced Gordon Walker while Alec Byrne started ahead of Corey Galvin.

However, the changes weren’t enough to make a huge impact on City’s overall performance and it will be interesting to see who Healy’s starting XI will be tonight.

On paper, City have a really strong squad, yet they have two games played and we have yet to see a performance to get excited about.

Let’s hope that can change starting with tonight’s game against Athlone.

City will be hoping for three points, and we will be hoping for a good performance. I expect it to be another tough battle, as will the majority of the games be in this division, this season.

With Cabinteely now on six points heading into their third game against Galway tonight, it’s important City don’t allow them pull too far away and although they can’t control Cabinteely’s results, City know three points tonight against Athlone will be important before they face another tough test at home to Shels next week.

Shels have only managed two draws in their opening games against Galway and Bray but in tonight’s fixture against Wexford they will be hoping for a better performance but even if they win, City can head into next week’s fixture a point above Shels if they manage to beat Athlone tonight.

BOUNCING BACK

Another big fixture is Cobh’s trip away to newly-formed Treaty United.

The Limerick outfit have got off to a great start to the season and they head into the game with four points on the table having secured a draw with Bray while beating Wexford 1-0 last weekend, with Cork lad Anthony O’Donnell getting on the scoresheet.

Cobh have yet to get any points and they will be hoping that can change on Friday.

They put in a great performance in their opening fixture against Cork City and were unlucky not to get anything from that game. However last weekend they suffered a heavy defeat at home to UCD and it will be interesting to see how Stuart Ashton’s men will react.

They know they need to get points on the table and although there won’t be any easy games this year, they believe they are better than what last week’s result suggests, and they will be hoping to put that right this evening.

Ashton has assembled a great squad and now it’s about getting the correct balance of youth and experience. Ashton started with the same 11 against UCD, as he had done in their opening game against City.

He only made one substitution last week and that was introducing Killian Cooper for the second week in a row. It will be interesting to see if he will start with the same line-up for the third week running or if he will decide to change things up a little.

Cobh are a fast, fit and physical outfit but I think they will find their match in the Market’s Field. I expect this to be a close battle but I believe if Cobh can put in a performance like they did against City, then they might just gain their first three points of the season.

It would give them a great boost heading into their next game, which is also an away trip, next week to Wexford.

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