CORK CITY manager Neale Fenn was left frustrated as his side began their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign with defeat at home to Shelbourne on Friday night.
A late goal from Ciarán Kilduff sent the visitors away from Turner’s Cross with all of the points and Fenn was left ruing how a lapse in concentration from a corner was costly.
“To concede any goal is disappointing,” he said, “but to concede a late goal is a horrible way to lose.
“I don’t think we deserved to win the game, to me it looked like it was a going to be a 0-0, we huffed and puffed a little bit but didn’t really create a clear-cut opening.
“It was going to be difficult, we knew that. Shels have a lot of experienced League of Ireland players, we knew they were going to be strong from set-pieces, which they showed – they scored a goal from one and hit the post from one.
“I was just a bit disappointed with our quality in the final third. We didn’t show enough composure, we didn’t pick out the passes and we just looked a little bit flat up top, basically.”
Nevertheless, City were able to take some positives from the game.
“We have to, don’t we?” Fenn said.
“I felt the two centre-backs [Joseph Olowu and Joe Redmond] were very good and Cian Coleman was decent in midfield. For a lot of the boys, it’s a first-ever senior game, so we can’t be ranting and raving.
“We’re disappointed and we told them that. We’re disappointed we got done by a set-piece twice, but they’ll learn.
“It’s a horrible way to learn by losing. If that game’s 0-0, we go in and we say, ‘We’ve got to be way better than that,’ but at least we’ve got a point.
“When you’re three or four not playing to their peak, you’re going to struggle in this league. A few of them weren’t hitting the heights that I think they can.”
One of the bright spots was Olowu, who has joined on loan from Arsenal. He’s keen to help the team improve over the coming weeks and months.
“As time goes on, we’re going to gel together,” he said.
“That’s naturally going to happen, we’re going to get the hang of how each other plays. I think we showed glimpses of that, getting the ball down and playing.
“We just have to stay encouraged, there are many more games to come. Naturally, it’s a challenge because it’s the first competitive game we’ve played together.
“There’s a good group of boys and everyone gets on well together. We’re going to be more cohesive going forward.”