WHILE the end result was a disaster, a one all draw against St Pat's on Friday night and it is a results business, there are still a lot of positives to take from Cork City’s performance in Turner’s Cross.
For the first time ever in a league game, John Caulfield started with two strikers up front.
He played 4-4-2 with Gearoid Morrissey on the left and it almost was the perfect night for Caulfield and his new system.
This formation made a huge difference to the teams' performance, the teams' attitude and the attitude inside the ground of the fans.
"Everybody was delighted to see City play two up front.
"Having two up front made Graham Cummins job so much easier.
"He was no longer chasing shadows or knocking balls onto nobody.
"He played with a purpose and he was a much better player as a result of having support up top with him.
He also won and took the penalty very well.
His play deserved a goal.
It was great to see young lads play on Friday with the first team, two, in particular, were U19 players Cian Murphy and Darragh Crowley.
Hopefully, we can see more of these type players progressing from the U19’s because they really brought something new and exciting to the squad.
Cian Murphy only got to play 25 minutes as he was forced off with a hamstring injury, however, up until that point he had certainly impressed.
He looked powerful, pacy and worked well with Cummins and I hope he recovers quickly.
Darragh Crowley impressed me hugely.
He came on for the injured Murphy.
For the first few minutes, I thought he may be a little light but he proved me wrong as the game grew.
His pace and skill were a joy to watch.
He wasn’t shy of shooting either which was great to see and I am looking forward to seeing more of him throughout the season.
It’s great to see the U19 lads come through to the first team as it gives them a huge boost and you could see their desire and hunger to want to do well, and that is what City needs right now.
A major downside to the game last night was the crowd again.
2,406 is a very small crowd for City, too small to keep the club going, however, for those 2,406 fans, they were certainly entertained and I have no doubt they would have enjoyed the football played, at least up until the last minute.
I would hope that if City can get two results next week against UCD and Waterford, then maybe for the Sligo game home on Easter Monday, they should attract a larger crowd.
City had a deserved lead at the break thanks to Cummins penalty.
I thought they played excellent in the first half.
They looked very comfortable on the ball, were a lot more aggressive in the tackle and they passed the ball excellently.
There were solid performances by a few players, Alan Bennett, Gearoid Morrissey and Man of the match Garry Comerford.
Comerford had two excellent strikes on goal on the 45th and 75th minute, and again it was great to see the younger lads willing to shoot.
City’s goal was a well-taken penalty by Cummins and with regards to the penalty, it resulted from an off the ball incident that the linesman flagged.
And although I didn’t see the incident may be the sending off on Webster was a little harsh and maybe a penalty was enough punishment, however, I was delighted and City deserved this lead at the break.
The quality of the performance dipped a bit in the second half and to be honest one could sense that one goal was never going to be enough.
City needed the second and against 10 men with St Pat’s David Webster receiving a straight red in the 36th minute, they should have doubled their lead but unfortunately, they never threatened a second goal which was disappointing.
I felt that was their downfall really.
However, overall, I was thrilled with their performance and I hope to see more of the same on Monday night.
With UCD losing again last night against two nil to Derry, City should be well capable of going up there and clawing three points back from Rovers lead, and keep them in touch with the top four for now.
I hope Caulfield doesn’t make any changes against UCD.
I hope he goes up there and attacks like he did last night.
Maybe Sean McLoughlin will start instead of Alan Bennett as maybe Bennett’s body couldn’t take two games in three days. But that’s probably the only change I would like to see.