League Preview: Drogheda United -v- Cork City
Drogheda United will be hoping to keep their good run of form going when they welcome Cork City to Weaver’s Park this Friday (kick-off is 7:45 pm).
Kevin Doherty’s men have won their last two games and a win against this Friday’s opponents will put them eight points clear of the Leesiders in ninth.
Depending on results, a win could also take Drogheda up a place to seventh with Sligo Rovers just two points ahead of them ahead of their trip to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians.
Drogheda were comprehensive winners in their previous fixture, beating UCD 3-1 at home. Freddie Draper’s brace and a close-range strike from Dylan Grimes were enough to cancel out a first-half strike from Adam Wells.
This result came off the back of one of the results of the season as Drogheda United took home all three points from Tallaght Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers.
Freddie Draper has been a crucial part of the Drogheda team this year and has come up with big goals in his last two games, with the 18-year-old scoring three in his last two games.
Drogheda will be bolstered by the fact that Gary Deegan is back and available for selection after serving a one-match ban for yellow card accumulation against UCD last week.
Cork City are also on a fine run of form winning their last two matches against Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers.
This is the first time Cork City have won consecutive games all season, and it would be a perfect time to make it three wins in a row to cut the gap between themselves and Drogheda United to just three points.
Cork City had an eventful night at Turner’s Cross last Friday, beating the eight men of Shamrock Rovers 1-0 courtesy of an 85th-minute Ruairi Keating goal.
This monumental victory for Cork City was marred by an incident of verbal abuse towards Stephen Bradley by individual Cork City fans.
Cork City has handed down lifetime bans to those responsible for the incident and has apologised to Bradley and his family.
Richie Holland spoke ahead of this Friday’s match against Drogheda and was clear he did not want to label this match as a six-pointer.
“Every game is a huge game, to be honest. Not at this stage of the season for me. You see the way the league has gone, you can go on a run of wins or you can go on a run of losses”, he said.
“They’re very organised, they’re very aggressive on the press especially up there [Weaver’s Park]. The tighter pitch makes for a bit more of a transitional game at times.”
The Leesiders will have Matty Healy and Cian Coleman back, but Ally Gilchrist is doubtful with a hamstring strain.
Referee: Neil Doyle
The last game between these two sides in Turner’s Cross ended in a 1-1- draw, with Ruairi Keating’s goal countered by an Ally Gilchrist own goal.
Cork City and Drogheda United have both taken four points off of top-of-the-table Shamrock Rovers this season, which is more than any other teams in the division.
There have been seven red cards shown in Cork City’s last five games, four have been shown to Cork City with three being shown to the opposition.
Drogheda United EVS, Draw 12/5, Cork City 23/10
Drogheda United 2-1 Cork City
Injured: Evan Weir, Darragh Noone, Jarlaith Jones
Doubtful: Ally Gilchrist