A place in the semi-finals of the FAI Cup awaits the winners of the game between Cork City and St. Pat’s at Turner’s Cross tomorrow night.
For Pete Mahon’s side a third semi final in four years is on offer and despite remaining in contention for the league, deep down the former UCD boss will be aware that the FAI cup remains the Inchicore side’s best chance of silverware this season, a fact emphasised by his decision not to rest players for the game.
Speaking to StPatsfc.com ahead of the game Mahon said “We won’t be making too many changes to the starting line up as this is a very important game for us in terms of our season. We’ll be hoping to get the tie over with tomorrow and I’m sure Cork will be thinking the same.
Both sides have had similar paths to the quarter finals with Cork counting for Midleton and fellow division one side Wexford Youths while St Pats beat Crumlin United and Waterford United on their march into the last 8.
Cork are enjoying a stunning season to date and currently sit in third spot in Division one with a EA sports cup final against Derry looming. The two sides have met already this season, with City claiming a 2-1 win on their way to the EA Sports Cup final and once again Cork will be confident heading into the game especially in light of their impressive showing against Athlone, whom they beat 7-0 last time out.
City boss Tommy Dunne was putting previous results to one side when he spoke to CorkCityFC.net , former Shamrock Rovers defender saying “Although we got a good result on the last occasion we met, St. Pat’s will go into the game as favourites, so we are under no illusions as to how tough a game this will be. On Monday night, St. Pat’s played against a Shamrock Rovers side who have qualified for the Europa League group stages and drew, and in fact could have won the game. We know what we are up against, but it is great for the club to be involved in big games like this, and we are looking forward to the tie.”
“This game offers us the opportunity to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the country, and that is an opportunity that all of us, players and staff, are looking forward to. With this game and next week’s cup final both on television, our supporters have a great opportunity to turn out in numbers and show the rest of the country why this club should be in the Premier Division.”
Dunne will once again be without Daryl Horgan who is cup tied, while Stephen Mulcahy remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury. Neal Horgan and Gearoid Morrissey are doubts ahead of the game while goalkeeper Mark McNulty will miss the tie with a back injury.
St Pats meanwhile will be without the services of David McMillan (hamstring) as well as the cup-tied duo of Shane Guthrie and Sean O’Connor.
Prediction: Both sides are in good form but St Pats will be the hungrier of the two teams and should edge a close encounter.