CORK City will have to do it the hard way if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the Extra.ie FAI Cup after they were drawn away to Derry City in the second round of the competition.
City, who defeated Cobh Ramblers to book their place in the second round, would have been hoping for a more favourable draw but have been given the daunting task of making the long trip to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium to overcome a side currently third in the Premier Division.
Derry last won the competition back in 2012 and will be seen by many as favourites to lift the trophy in November. After being knocked out of the Europa Conference League by Riga, and having a nine-point gap between themselves and league leaders Shamrock Rovers, the FAI Cup will be high on Derry’s priorities list.
The same cannot be said for City, whose focus will be on gaining promotion from the First Division so that games against Derry become a regular feature and not just a once-off during a season.
It is possible the draw that City would have hoped to have avoided the most. The First Division leaders' preference would have been a home draw against a non-league side which would have given them a greater opportunity to progress.
Although manager Colin Healy indicated that he wasn’t overly concerned with whom they faced after their victory over Ramblers, this would have been the draw he would have hoped to have avoided most. Not so much in terms that Derry are one of the top sides in the country because Healy and his players will feel they are a match for any side on their day, but he will be more worried about making the long trip to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
It will be close to a 540 km round-trip for the players. It is a fixture that will take players a longer time to recover from than if they had been drawn at Turner's Cross or faced a side away from home that was located closer to base.
City have not advanced past the second round of the competition since 2018. They will be hoping to change their recent history in the cup this year but have a difficult task ahead of them in facing Derry.
Dates and kick-off times will be announced in due course with all matches set to take place the week ending Sunday, August 28.
Bonagee United v Shelbourne
Lucan United v Bohemians
Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers
Derry City v Cork City
Galway United v UCD
Maynooth University Town v Treaty United
Wexford FC v Dundalk
Malahide United v Waterford FC