League Preview: Cork City -v- Bray Wanderers

Fri, May 18 2018

Graham Cummins is the Rebel Army's top scorer this season with eight. Credit: Steve Alfred

CORK CITY

Cork City will look to make it eight straight home wins when they meet with Bray Wanderers this evening at Turner's Cross (kick off 7:45).

After last week's pulsating 0-0 draw in Derry, City will hope to return to scoring form after being held scoreless up north for only the fourth time in 20 league games.

The draw meant Dundalk reclaimed top spot following their 4-1 win over the Candystripes on Monday.

Despite his side's free flowing form at home, which has been boosted by only conceding one goal at Turner's Cross, Caulfield remained conservative heading into this evening’s encounter,

“Every team in this league can take points from each other and Bray have proven that,” Caulfield told the club's media team.

“If you look at the results they have got, all of them have been against teams in the top six, so it just shows you.

“We know it is a huge game for us again on Friday; we are in a good position, but we need to start well.

“We know Bray will play on the counter and these games are always dangerous if you are not at your peak.”

Caulfield stressed the need to maintain the intensity in his side and try and add to the already flawless record at the Cross.

“From now until the break, we have a good few games, and it is important that we are up near the top going into the break.

“It has been a funny league in the sense that a lot of teams have dropped points away from home.

“I think home form is going to be crucial this year, so if we can make Turner’s Cross a fortress and pick points up away from home, then you have a good chance.

“We have kept nine clean sheets so far, which is excellent, despite the fact that we have had a relatively new back four.

“Obviously, we are looking to see can we score more goals, as we haven’t scored as many as we would like but, at the same time, we are in a fantastic position.

“For me, it is about keeping our performance levels high and continuing to improve, so we must keep that going”

City have doubts over the fitness of Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrisey and Steven Beattie, while Johnny Dunleavy works his way back from a long term injury.

 

BRAY WANDERERS

After clawing another point on Monday, Bray will hope to keep the momentum as they search for their first point at Turners Cross since August 2014, and possibly their first win since the previous April.

Having snatched a 2-2 draw against Waterford on Monday, and after encouraging wins against Derry, the light is cracking for the basement side as they begin to fight their way up the table.

Speaking on the challenge at hand, Bray caretaker manager Graham Kelly made no queries of the challenges facing his traveling to Cork this evening,

“We know we are in for a really tough game going to the home of the champions,” Kelly told the club's media team.

“They are a fantastic side with quality all over the pitch.

“We obviously take confidence from our performance last Monday against Waterford, who will no doubt be up there challenging both Cork and Dundalk for the title this season.

Kelly was offered hope by the performance of on-loan Daniel McKenna, who scored the opening goal in the 2-2 draw with Waterford last Monday,

“Dan did really well in his overall performance last Monday evening and it was great for him to get his first goal for the club.

“Dan’s natural position is in midfield so we had no problem throwing him in.

“Although he probably didn’t get as much time to prepare as he would have liked, I think scoring after three minutes helped him settle into the game”

Bray will be without the injured Aaron Dillon, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone, Jake Kelly and Aaron Greene for this evening’s encounter.

 

Referee: TBC

 

MATCH STATS

The last meeting between the sides came in late March 2018 as City racked up a 4-0 away win at the Carsile Grounds.

A brace from Barry McNamee with a stunner from Kieran Sadlier and a routine finish from Sean McLaughlin contributed to the Rebel Army claiming the points.

Bray’s last league win over Cork was in October 2016, when an up and coming Wanderers side tore the Rebel Army to pieces in a 4-1 whitewash in Wicklow.

 

BETTING

Cork City 1/5; Draw 5/1; Bray Wanderers 12/1.

PREDICTION

Cork City 3 – 0 Bray Wanderers

 

Cork City:

Injured: Johnny Dunleavy.

Doubtful: Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrisey and Steven Beattie.

Suspended: None.

 

Bray Wanderers:

Injured: Aaron Dillon, Hugh Douglas, John Sullivan, Darragh Noone, Jake Kelly and Aaron Greene.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.