WHEN you are six games without a win at the beginning of the new Women’s National League season, arguably the last place you want to be heading to for your next game is Peamount United.
But that is the challenge Cork City faces this Saturday evening — kick-off is at 6pm and it can be streamed live and for free on LOI TV — as they travel to the 2020 league and cup double winners, who have also started the 2021 campaign in formidable form.
While City will be looking to cause an upset and claim their first competitive victory of the year, the Peas will be going into the fixture confident of making it six wins out of six to keep them in pole position in the title race.
The Leesiders toughest game so far was probably against Shelbourne at Turner’s Cross — where they were beaten 3-0 — so United’s 2-1 triumph over Shels last month offers a little bit of insight into how tough the task is going to be to get a positive result against them this weekend.
James O’Callaghan’s serial winners produced another memorable performance last time out when they convincingly defeated Athlone Town — where City recently drew 3-3 — by six goals to nil.
Peamount winning 6-0 brings back difficult memories for the Rebel Army, who lost to them in last year’s Women’s FAI Cup final by that scoreline last December and again when the two sides met in pre-season back in February.
City manager Rónán Collins was critical of his team’s performance in their 3-1 loss at home to Wexford Youths last Saturday — describing it as “sloppy” — and he knows they need to perform a lot better if they are to even avoid another drubbing when the sides meet in Greenogue.
One positive to take from that defeat was the performance of Sarah McKevitt and the former Peamount winger is now hoping to kick on and score a few more goals this season after she opened her account for the club on the day.
Her powerful strike from long range nestled in the far bottom left corner of the net at the Shed End for City’s first goal at their new home in Turner’s Cross.
“I was delighted to get my first goal, eventually,” she told The Echo afterward.
“It felt like a long time coming so I am happy out now to have scored it and hopefully there are a lot more to come. It is after giving me a confidence boost.
“I said I was getting one today. All week I was like, ‘No, I need to get a goal this weekend so don’t be afraid to shoot and just keep trying until it goes in.’
“I was delighted to get my first goal and especially to get it at Turner’s Cross.
“It’s always nice to score at home, we were losing at the time so it wasn’t as valuable but I’m still happy to get on the scoresheet.
I would’ve heard my mother and father going mental I’d say if they were in the stand but I’m sure they were watching it on LOI TV. I have the messages already from them saying well done so they must’ve been.
“I was out injured for the past two weeks but it seems to have healed quickly. I was probably ready to go last weekend but thankfully they kept me out because if it was my choice I would’ve played but it was safer not to play.”
As mentioned, McKevitt’s finish couldn’t prevent City from losing their third match in a row at the Cross — but they are undefeated in their three away games — and she believes they need to do more in attack to turn things around.
“We need to have a bit more creativity and a bit more positivity going forward. We need to be a bit braver, I think that’s what we are lacking at the minute,” she admitted.
“Wexford are always a tough team to play against, they have been around a while now and they have a lot of experience in comparison to us.
“It was always going to be a tough game. It’s a bit different coming up against them, I still know a lot of the girls and I know how good they are so it’s difficult but when you are on the pitch you just forget about who you are playing, it’s just you against the player in front of you and that’s it.
“It’s always tough taking a loss but we are young, it’s still early in the season so we have to keep going.”
More in this section