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Monday 5 December 2016

Battling Bray are a real hurdle for Cork

Cork boss John Caulfield
Cork boss John Caulfield

John Caulfield believes that it could take just one moment of magic to settle tomorrow's FAI Cup semi-final at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray.

His Cork City side are favourites to advance past Bray Wanderers and earn Cork a place in the Cup final for the first time in eight years.

But Bray have been a tough nut for City to crack this season: the Munster side have indeed beaten Wanderers twice, but both wins were by the narrowest of margins, while recently Cork were held to a scoreless draw in Bray, the venue for tomorrow's semi-final.

The game has some added interest as Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane will attend the game, Keane deciding not to attend a club game in England as he will be at the team's HQ in Dublin ahead of Monday's first training session to prepare for Thursday's Euro 2016 qualifier.

"You would imagine it will be a really tight game and that one goal will decide it," said Caulfield, who has some decisions to make on his starting XI as a number of players missed training this week due to illness.

"Bray have been underestimated, a bit like we were last season, and people probably haven't given them the respect they deserve. They had a slow start to the league season and there has been a lot of chopping and changing, but they have done phenomenally well."

Cork have to cope without Steven Beattie and Stephen Folan, both cup-tied, but home side Bray have a bigger problem as captain and key midfielder Dave Cassidy is suspended for the semi.

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