Munster Senior League side UCC host League of Ireland neighbours Cobh Ramblers tonight in the second round of the EA Sports Cup.
With a quarter-final place up for grabs, it will be all to play for at the Mardyke and should make for an entertaining game.
The Students come into the tie on the back of a 2-0 win away to St Mary’s and a 0-0 draw away to Castleview, and remain well in the hunt to retain their Munster Senior League title. This has already been a superb season for the club, winning the Collingwood Cup, Harding Cup and Crowley Cup and reaching the quarter-finals of the FAI Intermediate Cup, losing out to Dublin side St. Mochta’s.
2015 also saw the side’s first ever competitive win over league opposition, beating Wexford Youths 2-1 in the first round of this tournament.
They have a number of players with League of Ireland experience on their books, most notably Cathal Lordan, previously of Cork City. They also have some ex-Rams in their side with Jason Abbott, Sean O’Mahony and Cian Murphy all having previously played for Cobh.
They will be without the injured duo of goalkeeper Charlie Bornemann and striker Evan Browne for the clash.
It’s been all change at Ramblers in the past week with club legend Stephen Henderson returning as senior manager. Martin Cambridge, who resigned just last week, was also re-instated as his assistant. The change of management saw Cobh pick up their first league win of the year at the weekend when a Rob Waters strike gave them a 1-0 win over Cabinteely.
Henderson and his side will be targeting another win tonight in a competition that the Rams haven’t fared well in since returning to the league. Their 3-2 first round win over Premier Division Limerick was their first victory in the tournament since re-entering the League of Ireland in 2013.
Cobh remain without Darren Murphy Snr. and Peter White for the tie whilst Ross McCarthy is also injured. Darren Murphy Jnr. misses out through suspension following his red card away to Finn Harps.
Alan O’Flynn has left the club this week due to work commitments and this will be a big blow to the island club. However, the under-19 season has now finished and Henderson will be able to call up the likes of George Gill, Adam O’Sullivan and Chris McCarthy, should the need arise.
Injured: Charlie Bornemann (shoulder), Evan Browne (hamstring)
Injured: Ross McCarthy (knee ligament), Darren Murphy Snr, Peter White
Suspension: Darren Murphy Jnr
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
UCC 13/8, Draw 23/10, Cobh Ramblers 11/8
Venue & Kick-Off
Mardyke Arena, 8pm
Thomas Stafford, Pundit Arena