THE draw for the Extra.ie FAI Men’s Cup has provided a Cork derby as Cobh Ramblers and Cork City will meet in the first round of the competition this year.
It is the first meeting between the sides in the competition in 35 years.
City will go into the game as favourites but Ramblers will be optimistic of their chances of progressing especially with the fixture being played at St Colman's Park.
City have defeated Ramblers twice this season in the side’s two meetings.
The two sides meet again this Friday at Turners Cross in the league where City will be looking to get back to winning ways whereas Cobh’s new interim management of Ivan Bevan, Ken Hennessey, Damien Rowe and David O’Leary will be aiming to make an instant positive impact on the team.
The Cup could be seen as a distraction from City’s pursuit of promotion but they will feel that they have the squad capable of competing for both competitions.
Last season, City reached the second round of the cup after defeating Sligo Rovers in the first round before losing on penalties to the eventual winners of the competition St Patrick’s Athletic.
City have won the competition four times with their most recent victory coming in 2017.
Although they might not be one of the favourites to win the cup, City will feel quietly confident that they can reach the latter stages of the competition this year.
For Ramblers; the cup will come as a welcomed diversion from the league.
The club have very little to play for in terms of their remaining fixtures in the league with the team sitting second- bottom in the table and 14 points adrift of the playoff positions.
Ramblers do not have a great recent record in the competition with the club not having gone past the second round of the competition since 2016, although they were eliminated by Dundalk in four of the last five years.
Last year Ramblers reached the second round of the cup before being knocked out by Maynooth University.
With both City and Ramblers having experienced several idle weekends throughout the season because of the nine team first division, both will be keen to advance in the competition in order to avoid more gameless weekends.
Apart from free weekends seeming to have a consequence on teams in terms of their results in their following fixture, there is also the financial cost to clubs of having no fixtures on a weekend.
Exiting the cup in the early rounds would mean more idle weekends for teams and that is something that Ramblers and City will want to avoid.
Dates and kick-off times will be announced in due course with all matches set to take place the week ending Sunday, July 31.
FAI Cup - First Round Draw:
Cobh Ramblers v Cork City; Treaty United v Usher Celtic; Salthill Devon v Malahide United; Sligo Rovers v Wexford; Dundalk v Longford Town; Lucan United v Killester; Donnycarney Bonagee United v Pike Rovers; Derry City v Oliver Bond Celtic; UCD v Cockhill Celtic; Drogheda United v Athlone Town; St. Patrick's Athletic v Waterford; Finn Harps v Bohemians; Bray Wanderers v Shelbourne; Bangor v Shamrock Rovers; Bluebell United v Galway United; Killester Donnycarney v Longford Town; Maynooth University Town v FC Villa.