Preview: WNL: Rovers host Cork City on Saturday

Cork City visit The Showgrounds this Saturday for a Women’s National League showdown against Sligo Rovers at 2pm and Bit O’Red manager Steve Feeney is anticipating a tight game against the Munster side who have a new manager, Jess Lawton, on the sideline.

Sligo Rovers won the first game at Turners Cross when Gemma McGuinness wrote herself into the history books of the club when she grabbed a sensational first WNL goal with a sensational strike while Emma Doherty added a second in the 70th minute.

Cork City got back into contention with 15 minutes remaining when Nadine Seward finished well, but Sligo Rovers held for that historic first victory.

Last Saturday was a first game in charge for Cork’s interim manager and she would have been reasonably pleased with the performance against a good Wexford side despite a narrow (1-2) defeat.

Following a scoreless first-half at Turners Cross, Ellen Molloy put Wexford in front from a free that Cork goalkeeper Abby McCarthy got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.

Cork got back into the game when ex-Wexford midfielder Becky Cassin hit a fine equaliser.

And while Cork showed great character and looked likely to score on a couple of occasions, Emma Walker claimed the winning goal for the Wexford women.

Sligo Rovers also lost last weekend when they were edged out by DLR Waves at The UCD Bowl in a game that manager Steve Feeney suggested his side should have got something out of.

“It was a very even game, DLR Waves are a good side, but I thought our players were excellent,” stated Feeney.

“We defended well and we were a big threat going forward, it’s probably the most chances we created in a game so far this season.

“While we scored two goals, it was definitely a day that we should have scored more with the chances we created.

“We played well in the last two games now, against DLR and Galway the previous week, but we have no points from either game and that’s something that we need to address now.

“We have to start picking up points and we are under no illusions, we know that it won’t be easy, every game will be a big test and we have to keep finding improvement.

“The fact that the girls were disappointed that they didn’t win the game against DLR is a reflection of where we are now, where we have come from since the opening day back in March against Peamount.

“Emma (Doherty) had that great strike that came down off the crossbar, if that had gone in, we were in front, but then DLR go up the other end and score from a corner, that was disappointing, to concede from a set play.

“Even after that, we had some chances and just couldn’t finish, but it was pleasing to see that we were still creating opportunities,” added the Bit O’Red manager.

Taking stock of the situation and looking ahead to the challenge that Cork City will pose this weekend, Feeney has some injury concerns, goalkeeper Kristen Sample is sidelined with a broken arm and Emma Hansberry is also on the doubtful list.

“If we look at the bigger picture for a moment, DLR Waves would have been one of the teams aiming to win the title this year,” said Feeney.

They recovered from the concession of an early goal against us and then we went a goal down, it would have been very easy at that stage for the girls to drop the heads, but they didn’t.

The reaction was great, they got back into the game even after going 2-3 down in the 81st minute, we could have won.

“All this won’t count for anything this coming Saturday when we have Cork City at the Showgrounds.

“There will probably be an expectation that we should win this now, we beat them in Turners Cross, but they missed a lot of chances that day, a bit like us against DLR last Saturday, but we got two chances and scored.

“They have a caretaker manager now as well, but that will just make them more determined, they would like nothing more than to come to Sligo and win.

“If we can repeat the performance we produced against DLR Waves against Cork, then we will be in with a chance of winning the game, we will have a chance, but it’s going to be tight,” he concluded.

In team news, Emma Hansberry and Kristen Sample remain out and both Ruth and Helen Monaghan are unavailable.

Admission is €5 for Adults and free for Under 18’s. Gates open from 1pm.