Cork City 0 Finn Harps 1
TONY McNamee’s second-half goal was the difference as Cork City lost to Finn Harps in their final pre-season friendly before the SSE Airtricity League First Division campaign begins later this month.
Midfielder McNamee – a brother of former City player Barry – struck with a volley in the 68th minute. While it means that the Rebel Army finish their friendly programme with three defeats from their four games, all against Premier Division opposition, manager Colin Healy will have been able to take a lot of positives from City’s preparations.
This was technically a home game for City but the neutral venue was the AUL Complex near Dublin Airport, with Steven Beattie making the first start of his second spell at City, playing at right-back.
There was an even start to the game, with Dylan McGlade, on the left wing as Jamie Wynne made his first start on the right, dangerous for City, while midfielder Jack Baxter went close from a free kick in the opening quarter of an hour.
With City looking secure when Harps attacked and, just before the half-hour, captain Gearóid Morrissey and Cian Coleman both went close to an opener, having shots blocked in a goalmouth scramble.
As half-time approached, Cory Galvin had a shot that was just over following nice play involving him, Morrissey and Cian Murphy, but it remained scoreless at the break.
Early in the second half, Harps’ Karl O’Sullivan almost broke the deadlock, shooting wide with a volley from the edge of the penalty area, while at the other end Stephen Folan – who had a brief spell at City in John Caulfield’s time – did well to head clear from a dangerous McGlade corner.
When Ryan Connolly sent a dangerous free towards the City goalmouth just after the hour, David Harrington dealt with the task well but the goalkeeper couldn’t keep out McNamee’s 20-yard effort midway through the second period.
Jack Walsh, one of a number of City substitutes introduced late in the second half, almost nabbed an equaliser but his header from a McGlade cross was kept out and Coleman was off-target from the resultant corner. It was as close as City came to levelling matters.
Now the focus for Healy and his team turns towards the league opener next Friday week, March 26, as Cobh Ramblers come to Turner’s Cross, followed by a trip to Cabinteely the following week.
Harrington (Hunt 65); Beattie (Walker 71), Coleman, Heaven, Kargbo (Hurley 65); Morrissey (Byrne 71), Baxter, Galvin (Holland 71); Wynne (Crowley 65), Murphy (Walsh 71), McGlade.