Shelbourne v Derry City, 10 October, 8pm
Coverage: Drive105, BBC Radio Foyle
A winner takes all tie at Tolka Park tomorrow night, with a place in the FAI Ford Cup Final awaiting the winner of tomorrow night’s game. St Patrick’s Athletic have already booked their place in the final and their opponents will be decided tomorrow night, with extra time and penaties to be used if the sides can’t be separated in ordinary time.
City’s last semi-final replay saw them crush Sligo Rovers 5-0 in the Brandywell in 2006 and Declan Devine will be hoping that his side can produce similiar heroics tomorrow night, with a final place on offer for the winners. However Sunday’s encounter showed that this will be very tight affair, with both sides evenly matched.
City have already tasted victory and defeat at Tolka Park this season, and will be hoping for a repeat of their 2-0 League victory in August. Both sides have been better away from home this season and City may hope to exploit their improved form on the road in order to secure their passage to the final. City know that they can’t afford a repeat of the concession of an early goal as occurred on Sunday, and will seek to ensure that they are defensively strong as a platform.
Derry have a number of walking wounded following Sunday’s game, with Barry Molloy the chief concern. The midfielder was struggling with cramp in the latter stages of the game and will be given right up until to kick off to prove his fitness. “Obviously, he’s a very important player for us but if he can’t get around the pitch the way we need him, then it would be pointless selecting him for the starting line-up. But he still has time and he has been receiving regular treatment, so we haven’t give up hope on Barry playing just yet,” reported Devine.
Devine will also have decision to make over the fitness of Greacen, Patterson, McLaughlin who have recently returned from injury and may struggle with the demands of two matches in such close proximity, particularly with the potential that this game could go to 120 minutes and beyond. However, Devine at least has a full panel to elect from, with all long term injury victims at least on the road to recovery.
Devine as no fear heading to Tolka and he knows that his players showed in the second half on Sunday that this is a game that they can win. “We’re travelling to have a go as we believe it’s a match we are capable of winning. However, we must be strong defensively at Tolka Park which I consider to be a proper stadium with a good atmosphere. During the second half on Sunday, when we managed to play a bit, we bossed the game and we’ll be looking to do just that and try and get an early foothold on the proceedings. I’d like to think we will give a good account of ourselves and try to control the match if we can,” said Devine