Win and Cork City will have the edge over Galway United

Win and Cork City will have the edge over Galway United

Cork City manager Colin Healy after the SSE Airtricity League First Division match between Bray Wanderers and Cork City at Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Wicklow. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

FRIDAY: SSE Airtricity League First Division:Cork City v Galway United: Turner's Cross, 7:45pm 

VICTORY for City would have them within touching distancing of promotion this season. 

The players will know that three points against their only rivals for the title would give them a huge advantage for the remainder of the season. With City one point ahead of Galway, and with a game in hand over the Tribesmen, were Colin Healy’s side to defeat John Caulfield’s men as well as win that game in hand, then a seven-point gap would be enormous deficit to overturn for Galway.

Were City to be successful on Friday, then it would be a case of the Rebel Army throwing away promotion rather than Galway earning it if Caulfield’s side were to go on and win the title. I don’t anticipate anything other than a tight contest between these two. 

Their two previous meetings this season wouldn’t suggest that it is going to be an end-to-end free-flowing game.

Players will be cautious on both sides because they know that one mistake could be the difference in the outcome of this encounter.

The players will be nervous, which is understandable considering the significance of the match. We may see players play within themselves because they will be more concerned about their defensive duties than their offence roles. 

They might question making a run into the opposition penalty area in fear of what could happen if the ball is overturned and they are out of position.

Cork goalkeeper David Harrington during the SSE Airtricity League First Division match between Bray Wanderers and Cork City at Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Wicklow. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Cork goalkeeper David Harrington during the SSE Airtricity League First Division match between Bray Wanderers and Cork City at Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Wicklow. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

When players think about the potential outcomes of the results of the game; both sides wouldn’t be too dissatisfied if they were to get a point. For City it would mean they would maintain their lead over Galway and still have a game in hand. 

While for Galway, a point against City would leave their players with the mindset of knowing that if Healy’s side slip up once before the sides next meeting in September then their faith would be back in their own hands.

It’s no surprise that in the meetings between the sides this season, that the away team have been the victors. I feel that is because the onus is on the home side to take the game to the visitors and in these tight games; it can suit more being the side that can sit deep and play on the counter-attack. There is less pressure on the away side. 

The two fixtures so far have been identical in terms of Galway winning at Turners Cross, having a man sent-off and being the poorer of the teams, whereas at Emanon Deacy Park; City had a man dismissed and perhaps were fortunate to gain maximum points.

I believe that fans should expect another encounter with both sides opting to use the long throws that Cian Bargary and Killian Brouder have. Long throws were the themes in the sides previous meetings and I would expect that to continue tonight. Galway do have the advantage when it comes to this tactic as Brouder has the longer throw between Bargary and himself.

Matt Healy’s wonder strike was the difference between the sides in their last meeting and it might take a special moment from a player to separate the sides tonight. When I think of potential match-winners; obviously someone like Ally Gilchrist scoring from a set-piece comes to mind. However, one player I think could make a difference is Dylan McGlade. He is a player that can create something from nothing. His season has been hampered by injury and I don’t even believe he will start this fixture, but it might suit him coming on in the game when players are tired and be the difference in the game. McGlade has had occasions in a City shirt where he has impressed supporters but he is yet to have the one standout moment that every City fans will point to and remember him for. I do feel he is a player that will have that moment and that could very well happen against Galway.

Of course the atmosphere at Turners Cross will be probably better than it has been for sometime. Galway are an experienced side who will anticipate this and will try to silence the crowd by slowing down the game and play-acting when fouled. I do think it’s important the fans don’t react to it because that frustration can boil onto the players and the City players will then get distracted by Galway’s antics rather than focusing on their own game.

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