Cork City don't have any room for error in battle with Galway for top spot

Colin Healy's side host Wexford on Friday need and while strong favourites must keep their focus
Cork City don't have any room for error in battle with Galway for top spot

Aaron Bolger, Cork City, has been in outstanding form this season. Picture: Ray Ryan

IT’S an unlucky number for some but Colin Healy’s Cork City hope to make it 13 games unbeaten when they face Wexford at Turner’s Cross.

City are currently on the summit of the First Division League alongside John Caulfield’s Galway United and with the sides due to meet next week for a top-of-the-table clash, it’s important City secure nothing less than three points here.

Coming into this game City are well rested having not played in the league since their 2-1 win over Athlone on May 6. City did play Treaty in the Munster Senior Cup in between but most of their key players were rested.

While sometimes a break doesn’t always favour a team, I feel Healy will have the lads fired up, fresh and raring to go. Last weekend’s break was an opportunity for Healy to work more on the training ground, in particular with those players returning from injury. Wexford on the other hand come into tonight’s game on the back of a 4-0 thrashing by Galway. This was a home defeat also which would have hurt that little bit more. Coming to the Cross is tricky but I imagine Ian Ryan’s men will be relieved to be away from their home fans for the moment and also determined to produce a better performance.

The last time these sides met back in April, City were lucky to get a narrow victory when Cian Murphy’s fifth-minute header proved to be the difference. Despite Wexford impressing for long spells in that encounter, they were unable to break down a resolute City defence.

It was a great performance from Wexford but small margins cost them, which has been their downfall this season.

Shane Barnes, Athlone Town, in action against Matt Healy, Cork City recently. Picture: Ray Ryan
Shane Barnes, Athlone Town, in action against Matt Healy, Cork City recently. Picture: Ray Ryan

I expect City to have too much again though. They’re in flying form, 12 games unbeaten, and with only one loss at home. They’ve proven to be a very difficult side to beat and Healy has said more than once about the importance of the Cork support and how it has helped the team get over the line on some occasions.

While Wexford have struggled lately and currently lie sixth on the table, on 15 points, while City have 35. 

They’ve shown they can mix it with the top teams, having drawn with Galway earlier in the season along with that narrow defeat against City.

What impressed me about them was that while they shut City down really well in their last meeting, they also still tried to attack. Having conceded early, I expected them to sit back a little but credit to Ian Ryan’s men, they played some lovely football. They were aggressive in the tackle and they pressed every ball. City need to be ready for that.

Though I expect City to gain all three points, Healy knows they never get anything easy from Wexford.

Former Cork City keeper Paul Hunt had a great game the last time the sides met so I have no doubt he will have his team-mates riled up and ready.

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