TONIGHT is a huge opportunity for Cork City to widen the gap at the top of the table if they can secure a win over local rivals Cobh Rambler’s at St Colman’s Park.
City come into the game on the back of a 2-1 win over Munster rivals Waterford, while Rambler’s also enjoyed their first win since March 14th as they defeated Athlone 3-2.
This was only their second win of the season, ironically against the same opposition with the same score line.
However, we all know that form and past results don’t count for much when it comes to local derbies.
Anything can happen and we have seen this in the past. This is what makes tonight’s game more appealing.
Derbies generally bring more to a fixture than any other game played throughout the season and tonight’s game will be no different in front of an expected packed St Colman’s Park.
It’s a ground I enjoy watching games at, the atmosphere is always great and that's a huge credit to those involved with the club and I hope both Cork City and Cobh can put on a good spectacle of football for their supporters.
Like all games in the league this season, nothing comes easy and while City will be favourites based on form, I have no doubt Colin Healy’s men will not be too complacent.
Yes, they've been playing well but the draw against Bray last week has shown us that they too can be vulnerable.
After an earlier thrashing of the same opposition a few weeks previous when City won six nil, one expected City to pick up three points easily, however that wasn’t the case and Healy knows that two points dropped should have been avoided and he can’t afford to repeat that again, and especially not tonight against a side who are second from the bottom.
While Rambler’s have only two wins from 10, Darren Murphy’s side have scored five goals in their previous two games with Beneoin O’Brien Whitmarsh in flying form so he'll definitely be one City need to watch tonight however credit to City, they have done very little wrong in the defence this year, only conceding two all season.
I expect City to have a little too much for the home side and while the tight pitch not ideal for City’s wide players, I expect Healy to have a plan B, and I still think they can get the win.
City had a few players return from injury with captain Cian Coleman straight back into the starting line up last week against Waterford and I expect him to start there again tonight.
Josh Honohan came off the bench and it was good to see him get some game time, however a player I’m looking forward to seeing get some game time is James Doona.
He was among the substitutes again last week but didn’t get on the pitch so hopefully we can see him figure at some stage this evening.
With lads returning from injury it makes the squad very competitive once again which can only be a good thing.
So while tonight’s game might seem a huge game in terms of bragging rights for the supporters, Healy and Murphy will be treating it like any other game and both will be hoping to add to their tally and for Healy it’s about keeping the lads focused on the task ahead.
“We won’t get too bothered about it being a local derby. We set out every game to win and the same will be tonight.
"We've had a great week of training and the lads are in really good form so hopefully they can take that into tonight’s game.”
Let’s hope it’s a good game of football in front of a packed crowd.