Drogheda United host Eddie Gormley’s Cabinteely at United Park on Friday evening in the second round of the FAI Cup. Gerard Grimes previews the action.
The home side have won two of their last four games against Bray Wanderers and Galway United with both of those victories coming at United Park and Johnny McDonnell will be hoping his side can make it three home victories in a row, something the Boynesiders haven’t achieved since 2012, when they finished second in the league.
Drogheda are coming into this game off the back of what was probably their best performance of the season and the 2-0 victory against Galway also gave them their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season, something that delighted the Drogs boss,
“It certainly was our best 90-minute performance as we have played well in patches in other games but not for the entire match. To keep a clean sheet was brilliant but it’s also very significant that we are starting to beat the teams around us in the table.”
Drogheda made it to the quarter-final of this competition last season, beating non-league outfits Cockhill Celtic and Ballynanty Rovers on the way before a depleted side lost 5-0 in a replay against Derry, following a 2-2 draw four days previous that saw the Boynesiders finish with eight men.
In team news, Drogheda will be without the suspended duo of Shane Dunne and Daryl Kavanagh. The pair were sent off against Cork on May 11, and despite being available for selection against Galway, both have now been handed additional suspension.
Dunne has been given an additional one-match ban and Kavanagh an additional two matches, meaning he will also be unavailable against Limerick next weekend. McDonnell will also have to plan without the injured Cathal Brady (hamstring) while captain Mick Daly (calf) and Neil Yadolahi (fitness) are both doubts.
Speaking to www.droghedaunited.ie, McDonnell said he has had Cabinteely watched and that the cup draw will be a big factor in how far his side can go in the cup, should they beat Eddie Gormley’s side,
“How far we can go in the Cup will depend heavily on who we draw but to start off at home is a great incentive for us. We’ve had Cabinteely watched a couple of times since the draw was made and I heard they played very well against Cobh Ramblers last week.
“We will be aiming for our third successive win at home and that will be a huge confidence booster for the entire team but we need to match the effort and desire of the opposition and hope that our quality will see us through.”
The visitors have picked up just one point away from home this season, in a 2-2 draw away to Athlone, and boss Eddie Gormley will be hoping his side can turn around their away form in the cup to cause an upset.
Cabinteely come into this game off the back of a 2-2 draw against Cobh Ramblers, a game which saw Cobh equalise in the 94th minute to deny Cabinteely a first league win since the end of March.
Cabinteely have made no team news available for this fixture but it is certain that Gormley will be hoping top scorer John McKeown, who is from Louth, can continue his impressive form this season.
The visitors also have a former Drogheda United player in their ranks; centre-back Victor Ekanem. The defender was signed by Mick Cooke in 2011, a season which saw Drogheda struggle and finish 9th in the league, with only Galway United finishing below them.
Pundit Arena Prediction
Drogheda United 2-0 Cabinteely
Injured: Cathal Brady (hamstring)
Doubtful: Mick Daly (calf), Neil Yadolahi (fitness)
Suspended: Shane Dunne, Daryl Kavanagh
No team news made available
Referee: Robert Harvey
Assistants: Robert Clarke & Darren Corcoran
Fourth Official: Paula Brady
Replay Date (If applicable):
Monday, June 1, Stradbrook, 7.45pm
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena.