Kildrum Tigers will hope to round off their calendar year with a place in the FAI Senior Cup their fillip ahead of their FAI Intermediate Cup third round replay with Dunboyne.
A place in the last 16 of the Intermediate Cup guarantees a foray in the Senior Cup next season. Raymond McDaid’s side came back from Meath with a scoreless draw a fortnight ago and although they had arguably the better chances to win the contest at Summerhill Road, the Kildrum manager was at least content to have a second bite.
Dunboyne proved to be a lively side and had a couple of opportunities themselves in a contest that was more exciting than the scoreline might initially suggest.
“We didn’t underestimate them at all,” McDaid said of Dunboyne. “We had loads of good chances but just couldn’t put them away on the day. We went with five in midfield the last day, but at home we’ll probably revert back to a 4-4-2.
“We went away in this competition in the past and sometimes when you give a silly goal away it can be very hard to get back into the game. But, I’d expect the game on Sunday to be a bit more open. I thought they tired a bit in the second half. It was encouraging to see that we were as fit as them, despite not having played in a few weeks.”
Kildrum’s inactivity at this time of year can lead to a well re-hashed debate on the pros and cons of summer soccer but having showed no ill-effects two weeks ago the St Johnston side know an extended run in the competition, if achieved, can be left till long after the turkey.
Kildrum managed to make it to the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup in 2007 but were beaten at Station Road by Avondale United from Cork. For their part, Dunboyne are in the third round for only the second time in their history, having got past Glebe North and Postal United to date.
Top of the Christmas shopping list for Dunboyne manager Vernon McAllorum ahead of the journey to Donegal will be a new goalkeeper.
McAllorum was forced to select striker Ger Robinson between the posts for last Sunday week’s cup tie due to an injury which regular custodian Paul O’Reilly picked up in the previous weekend’s Leinster Senior League Division 1A victory over St James’ Gate.
“Paul picked up a finger injury that will keep him out until January and I hope we can sign a new goalkeeper this week,” McAllorum said.
Robinson performed impressively between the posts and handled with great confidence throughout, but his absence from the attack was noticeable.
The winners of Sunday’s replay face the long trek to Cork to take on College Corinthians, who defeated Letterkenny Rovers two weeks ago, in round four.
The Ulster Senior League will be represented by a Drumkeen United team that have a home fixture against Verona FC to look forward to. How Kildrum would like to join them.
“You have to take what the draw gives you and we’d be quite happy to go to Cork,” McDaid added.
“We played them down there three years ago and drew 1-1, so we’d be quite happy with that draw, but it’s always a tough trip to have to go down to Cork and get a result.”