IT was great to see a crowd back at the Cross.
That was the only positive to take from Cork City’s 2-1 defeat to St Pat’s.
City got off to the worst possible start conceding two goals in the opening 10 minutes. To say the defence were all over the place would be an understatement.
They struggled to get out of their own half, making schoolboy errors.
The first goal conceded was a simple header to be cleared by the unmarked Cian Coleman. He failed to do so and the dropping ball hit off Alan Bennett and went over the line.
Three minutes later, things got worse for City. Again, a failed clearance, this time between Alan Bennett and Unis Kargbo resulted in Jordan Gibson finishing to the back of the net.
City still didn’t settle and were lucky not to be five down after 20 minutes, lucky that Pat's finishing was poor while the woodwork denied Chris Forrester on three occasions.
With a horrific start, it was refreshing to see Neale Fenn act so quickly and have his subs warm up after 10 minutes and even though it was 30 minutes before he made a change.
I was happy to see his intention of wanting to give the lads a shakeup, and not wait until half time. However, I was stunned by the changes he then made.
Dylan McGlade and Daire O’Connor were replaced for Henry Ochieng and Ricardo Dinanga. I wasn’t the only one stunned as both McGlade and O’Connor showed their disgust as they walked off in anger past Fenn.
Surely one of the defenders or midfielders who had failed to perform up until this point would have been substituted. Anyhow, to be fair to those introduced, I knew they could make an impact, I just thought the wrong lads were replaced.
City were given a lifeline just after the fourth official announced one minute of added time in the first half, Gearoid Morrissey blasted past a crowded box much to the relief and delight of City players and supporters.
The home side gave a better performance in the second half. The defence were more composed with youngster Uniss Kargbo solid at right-back and did well to keep first-half scorer Gibson quiet in this half.
Deshane Dalling was a huge threat on the flank and made some excellent runs however City still lacked anything in the final third. Kit Elliot was poor throughout, not offering City anything up top, and was eventually replaced on the 75th minute for Scott Fenwick, who is another player I wouldn’t rate if I’m honest.
It’s a position City have been struggling to fill for a long time and unfortunately, they just don’t seem to have anyone who could do a job up top at the moment. I have asked the question many times why we haven't seen Cory Galvin feature much.
I’m not exactly sure why but he was introduced on the 87th minute replacing Cian Coleman. Galvin, from what I’ve seen, is an exciting player who loves to run at the opposition. Surely, he’s worth more than three minutes as after all, an attacking midfielder or striker is what City badly need.
City have five games remaining, starting away to Bohs next weekend at Dalymount. After their performance against Pat's and their recent form, I find it hard to see them get anything from this game.
As positive as I’ve tried to be, it’s a very worrying time for the club as they continue to try and avoid relegation.