CORK CITY’S challenge of getting their first win in the early stages of the 2021 Women’s National League season doesn’t get any easier as they take on Wexford Youths at Turner’s Cross this Saturday afternoon.
City have been strangely consistent so far this campaign having secured three draws from their three away games against Galway, Bohemians, and finally Athlone Town last time out while they have also been beaten in both their home fixtures against Shelbourne and DLR Waves.
Rónán Collins’ side though have a good recent record against Wexford - winning one and drawing the other of their two meetings last season - and the manager is hoping that will continue this weekend.
“Wexford is a really big game, they are in really good form at the moment.
“We have done really well against Wexford in the past, last season we went unbeaten against them but over the previous few seasons, we have always got results against them even with players missing.
“Hopefully we will be able to do something similar at the weekend, it’s always a team we seem to save our good performances for.
“I thought we were nervous in our first game at Turner’s Cross but we have only played twice there and we did a lot right against DLR Waves so I wouldn’t say they embraced the game either.
“We look at how our games went and we could’ve easily had a win or two from them. We have put in a performance in one or two of them where the result didn’t reflect that performance.
“If you concentrate on the performance over the season results will come.”
Wexford Youths boast numerous talented players all over the park so City face a tough task if they are to secure their first win of the season and also their first triumph at their new home.
One player, in particular, they will need to be wary of is Republic of Ireland international Ellen Molloy, who is currently in red hot form.
The highly-rated 16-year-old scored an incredible goal last Saturday in their 5-0 demolition of Galway, twisting, turning, playing a neat one-two before drilling a stunning strike just inside the right post from 30 yards.
But the midfielder has yet to find the net in any of her meetings with City.
“Ellen is a really good talent and the big thing for me with players is that they are grounded down to earth and she appears to be that way,” added Collins. “She had a really good season last year and this year she seems to be pushing on again. But Ellen is yet to score against Cork City and that is something we will be hoping to keep going.
“I’m pretty sure we are the only Women’s National League team that she hasn’t scored against yet so that’s not anything we are going to fear.
“I suppose we have our way of playing both with the ball and without the ball and if we can do those principles correctly we can shut down space for all players.
“If we can do our job well as individuals that links to a good team defensive performance.
“But Wexford have loads of quality in other places on the pitch so we have got to find ways to stop them using their quality and allow us to use our quality and that’s what’s going to be our focus.”
The Rebel Army will still be without a number of important players for this contest although Collins is hopeful summer signing Sarah McKevitt will recover in time to feature.
“Sarah has shown her quality already with the team, she did in pre-season with us but she was good in the first few games and impacted against Galway in particular. Having that bit of quality…. especially her crossing from wide areas because we have been getting into those positions but maybe we just need to up the quality there a bit and she definitely has that.
“That will give us something as well. Katie (McCarthy) was involved a small bit more against Athlone so we are hoping to up that a bit more against Wexford.
“Nathalie (O’Brien), Zara (Foley), and Sophie (Liston) aren’t available yet, they will be another few weeks but we have no new concerns at this moment in time anyway.”