COBH RAMBLERS play host to Cork City in the latest installment of the Cork derby at St Colman’s Park tonight (7:45pm kick off).
Heading into this clash it appears all the pressure is set to be on City, as their pursuit of the league title heads into the business end of things.
However, Ramblers will hope to land a dent in those automatic promotion hopes, something that would go down quite well you’d expect with Galway United and manager John Caulfield.
Although the First Division title race is set to go down to the wire, should City get promoted this term, Friday’s game could be the last Cork derby league game for a few years.
This could also add further incentive for the Ramblers players to claim the Cork City scalp and also the local bragging rights in the process.
Ramblers come into Friday’s derby meeting following a 2-2 draw away to Wexford last time out. Keegan put a dent in the promotion playoff hopes of Ian Ryan’s side in the process.
Cobh will be looking to build on that when Colin Healy’s side come to St Colman’s Park.
The Ramblers players will be doing all they can to give their supporters something to cheer about on Friday night.
Looking forward to derby day clash against City, Ramblers manager Shane Keegan said how much it would mean to win Friday’s local derby affair:
“It would be brilliant , it would be absolutely brilliant. Just to beat a team that I do believe have been the best in the First Division so far this year.
“For us to, if we went and beat a team like that, it would show massive signs of improvement and things moving in the right direction.
“If you could beat the best team in the division and they also happen to be your local neighbour, all the better again.
“For me City have consistently shown over the course of the season that they are the best team in the division.
“We have got a very clear aim for this last round of games. That is to try and accumulate a points tally that will be the best out of the four rounds.
“It was off to a decent start with the first game and getting a point on the board last week.
"People will say what have we got to play for, well we have got a hell of a lot to play for.
“And it is a local derby which should take care of motivation levels. I think our lads will be licking their lips and really looking forward to Friday night.”
Ramblers defender John Kavanagh added:
“There will be a lot of talk on the outside. But we have just got to focus on ourselves really.
“Ultimately I think we are just going to go out and think about our own performance.
"If we perform well, I think there is every chance that we can get something from the game."
When the teams faced off at St Colman’s Park earlier in the season back in April , although City ultimately won , they only did so after Ramblers gave them an almighty scare.
Goals from Ruairi Keating and Matt Healy(which was a wonder strike from outside the box), looked to have City cruising to the victory.
But Ramblers had other ideas, with goals by Beineón O'Brien-Whitmarsh and Conor Drinan bringing the teams back on level terms with 50 minutes played on the clock.
City got their winner through a Cian Coleman goal. While Ramblers continued to threaten, the City defence held out and Colin Healy’s side came away with the three points.
When City and Ramblers last played in league action at Turners Cross in June, it was the Rebel Army that secured a 1-0 win.
A Darragh Crowley goal for City in the 65th minute was the difference between the teams on the night.
The most recent meeting between these two teams came in the FAI Cup a few weeks ago at St Colman’s Park.
City also came away from this game with a 1-0 win, with Keating getting the Cork goal on the day, which made headlines after a fence collapsed in the away end at St Colman’s Park following the winning Cork City goal.
Overall the games between Cobh Ramblers and Cork City have been competitive affairs throughout the 2022 campaign.
However it has been City that have emerged as the victors when the duo have met in clashes this term.
Shane Keegan’s Ramblers side will be looking to change that tonight.