CORK City will look for their third home win of the season as they take on John Caulfield's Galway United at Turner's Cross.
Colin Healy's side have gone three games unbeaten. Two draws against UCD and Bray and a comfortable 5-0 victory over Wexford and therefore Healy will be hoping his side can continue their good form in Friday’s bid for a win.
There will be added spice to with the return of Caulfield to the Cross. I’m just disappointed there won’t be supporters there, as it would have been interesting to see what reception he would have gotten from the supporters.
This is another huge game for Healy and a game in which he will be looking for all three points again. City come in with confidence having produced a good performance against UCD last week, where they were unlucky not to get three points.
Prior to last week's clash, UCD had joint-best defensive record in the league record but also had 21 goals scored, 15 of those in their four previous games so the nil-all draw was a huge confidence boost for Healy's side.
“I thought the lads played really well and again they worked very hard,“ said Healy. "I thought we were unlucky not to come away with a win however nonetheless there were a lot of positives to take from the game. There are not many teams who will come away from here without conceding so it was great from that point of view and also I was glad to see we had more chances at the other end.
"I think the lads are gaining more confidence with every game but we just need to get more points on the table and hopefully that can start."
Confidence has continued to grow and that has been very evident in particular in City’s previous three games. The defence is getting stronger and tighter and we said from the start if City can avoid leaking sloppy goals that confidence will grow and would make a difference at the other end and that’s what seems to be happening.
Healy has repeatedly said his players need to start to believe in themselves a bit more because he believes the quality is there and that along with the work ethic of the lads should be producing better results.
I believe City have a great chance to get three points.
Three penalties in that game as well as Ramblers reduced to 10 men for over an hour killed this game really.
I wasn’t impressed by Galway and although they were physical and were organised in the defence I felt they played very little football but instead resorted to the long ball over the top. I think City’s pace up top and on the flanks could cause them all sorts of trouble.
Galway do come into this game currently sitting at mid-table on 12 points and on the back of a lucky 1-0 win last week against Wexford. A 95th-minute winner from Corkonian and former Cobh Ramblers player David Hurley was enough for Caulfield's men to go fifth on the table.
While City are struggling to climb the table I think Healy may have found his best XI which he hasn’t changed in the past three games and this has to be a positive.
I was disappointed to hear Corey Galvin has left the club. He was an exciting player but for whatever reason, he didn’t get as much game time as I expected he would. So whether or not Healy sticks with the same line-up again, I expect him to field a side that will go at Galway from the start and hopefully get the much-needed three points.
Meanwhile, Cobh travel to Athlone which is expected to be a tough test for Stuart Ashtons side.
Athlone are currently third in the table on 13 points with four wins one draw and three losses. Ramblers are still looking for their second win of the season. Ashton’s men have been playing well but have struggled to get points from their last three games and Ashton will be hoping that can change before they face a derby against Cork City next week.