Bohemians and reigning FAI Cup holders Sligo Rovers clash on Sunday as they bid for a place in this year’s final. This semi-final is a repeat of last year’s game which Sligo Rovers edged 1-0.
With Sligo also edging the previous year’s quarter final, albeit after a replay, the Dubliners will be keen to avenge two years of hurt and reach the 2011 final.
Matches between these two teams have often been exciting and almost always keenly contested with Bohs edging their most recent meeting at the Showgrounds in August, running out 2-1 winners.
In fact, the cup clashes aside, Pat Fenlon’s side have the recent advantage in head-to-head form over their north-west rivals during winning 10 of their 18 league, cup and league cup matches since the start of the 2008 season, with Sligo claiming only three wins.
For the loser of this contest the chance for revenge will come very quickly, as the sides are due to meet again next Friday the 21st October at Dalymount Park and with the league title now destined for Tallaght once again, Sligo will be hoping that they end a promising campaign with a trophy for their endeavours and ensure that the penultimate game of the season is one of revenge for Bohs.
Sligo and Bohemians have won the last two FAI Cup’s between with Bohs beat Derry in 2009 while Sligo claimed last year’s cup with a penalty shoot out win over Sligo. Paul Cook’s men are into their 8th successive semi final under the guidance of the Liverpool born manager, three of which have come in the FAI cup.
Both sides have had a relatively path’s to the quarter finals, with Bohs dispatching of Douglas Hall 3-0 at home before beating Longford town away likewise Sligo had to overcome the challenge of FAI Junior cup experts Pike Rovers before easing pas Monaghan United at the second attempt.
The quarter finals saw both sides face tricky ties as Bohs were pitched against Dundalk and Sligo up against last year’s runners up Shamrock Rovers. True to form both ties were tightly fought affairs with one goal enough to seal the wins that brings us to Sunday’s clash.
Meanwhile Sligo’s newest Irish U21 international Alan Greene is looking forward to the clash with Bohs, “It is massive game. Going to Dalymount to play in these games is what you want as a player. Hopefully we can go up, do the job and leave with a Cup final in the Aviva.
“It is going to be very difficult. Pat has set up Bohemians very well this year and they have been very difficult for us personally. I don’t think we have beaten them but hopefully we can overcome that.
“We’ll try to take everything that Paul Cook and Gerry Carr have put into the sessions during the week and bring it onto the pitch. It is not going to be an easy battle so that is what we will have to do.”
Fenlon’s hope of a final appearance which seemed unlikely at the start of the season given their financial struggles have been hit hard with the absence of key men Liam Burns, Christy Fagan and Anto Flood who all miss out through suspension.
Aidan Downes and Stephen Traynor look set to lead the Bohs attack and with both players having scored in recent win’s over Sligo, the loss of Fagan and Flood may not be as bad as initially feared.
Boh’s are sweating on the fitness of Sligo native Mark Rossiter (calf) and Killian Brennan (ankle) who are both struggling for fitness however defender Aidan Price is expected to return after a dead leg.
Path to the final:
Third round v Douglas Hall (H) 3-0
Fourth round v Longford (A) 1-3
Quarter final v Dundalk (H) 1-0
Third round v Pike Rovers (H) 3-2
Fourth round v Monaghan United (A) 4-0 after replay
Quarter final v Shamrock Rovers (H) 1-0