ON PAPER it may only be sixth versus ninth in the Women’s National League on Saturday afternoon, but nonetheless, it is an absolutely huge game for Cork City.
That’s because City are the team sitting in ninth and bottom of the table without a win in any of their opening ten games to the 2021 season.
They have also been beaten in each of their five fixtures at their new home of Turner’s Cross but Saturday’s clash with their Dublin rivals Bohemians offers them a great chance to right both those wrongs as they look to build on a positive second-half performance in their narrow loss to title-chasing Shelbourne last weekend.
“It’s a good opportunity for us. We are focussing on putting in a good performance again and hopefully, the result will look after itself,” insisted manager Paul Farrell.
“Against Shels we were pleased with the second-half performance but there are still a few things we wanted to work on during this week and tweak going into the Bohs game.
“We really want to put our style of play on this game so we can control it as best as we can.
“It is important to try and get that win but we know it’s going to come, whether it will be on Saturday or another day so we are just looking after our performance.
“We are still in our fresh start after I took over. I know we are ten games without a win in our season but it's only two games since I came in so it’s just about getting that performance and hopefully the three points will follow.
“It’s a great privilege to play at Turner’s Cross but every club feels that so they get a bit of an extra lift as well.
“We are used to Turner’s Cross now, the hype of it has been normalised for us so we need to make it a fortress for us going forward.
“We need to make sure it becomes really hard for the opposition to get a result at Turner’s Cross and that starts Saturday.”
The last time the two sides met was back in April when City were denied their first victory of the campaign as Bohs converted a late penalty to earn a 3-3 draw.
“The week or two before that game we played Galway away and drew 3-3, we identified that we nicked that result there but I did feel Bohs then nicked the result off us. But that’s football, it happens,” added Farrell.
“We should have put that game to bed that day but we didn’t and fair play to Bohs they kept going and they got their equaliser late on.
“It was something we want to rectify this weekend and make sure we get the result that hopefully, our performance deserves.
“We will implement our game plan during this week in training and hopefully we can get the result.
“But there’s no easy game in this league as we have seen this year because we haven’t got a win.
“Bohs are always a sticky team, they are really hard to beat, they are hard to break down, they have loads of energy, they get after you so it will be a difficult game but we are going to go for the win.”
The seniors will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their academy sides who both recorded their first wins of the season - albeit it was in their opening games - last weekend.
A number of the senior squad played their part in the under 19’s 8-0 win against Greystones United but the majority of the plaudits went to Alessia Mazzola for her absolutely incredible strike - the video of it on Twitter has since gone viral - in the under 17’s 3-1 victory against Munster Rivals Treaty United.
“That was some goal,” enthused Farrell.
“There is another angle that has since come out and it looks even better on that so it was some strike.
“There’s a really good squad there with the under 17s and the 19s, there is great talent in Cork and it’s a credit to the local clubs as well.
“We will work very closely with the under 19’s because there is such a big overlap.
“It will depend on who plays with the seniors on the Saturday, how much game time they get and how fit they are - whether they have knocks or niggles - that they can play with the under 19s as well.
“We don’t want to overload the players but we will work with them to ensure they have a competitive team Sunday but also that we are getting our best players fit and ready on Saturday for the seniors.”