Cork City need better balance up front to stay in the promotion race

Two defeats in a row have shown up a lack of cutting edge in attack
Cork City need better balance up front to stay in the promotion race

Cian Coleman Cork City FC in action in attack against Athlone Town. Picture: Larry Cummins

A disappointing outing again for Colin Healy’s side as they move down the table with just three points from their opening three games.
Friday’s result against Athlone was just not good enough. The performance wasn’t that bad but it lacked that quality in the final third and it’s difficult to see where goals will come from.

In saying that, striker Jack Walsh got a first start and I was impressed. His work-rate was excellent, he was great in the air, and his link play with midfielders was impressive. 

He is very similar to former City star Marky Sullivan. And what I mean by this, is he holds the ball up really well, great in the air, and is great at flicking on a few balls. The problem is there is nobody to play off him. 

Cian Coleman played in the number 10 role but he is more of a six. I would like to see Corey Galvin feed off Walsh. Healy definitely needs to try something different.

Credit to Athlone, they were a well-organised team. They were very physical and fit and James Doona and Kurtis Byrne caused problems. 

Athlone were very direct. They were very strong on the break and had more urgency than City in the final third. There were periods in the game when City enjoyed a lot of possession without creating much.

Healy expected a good reaction from the players after the loss to Cabinteely. I did feel they played better but they still lost.

Jonas Hakkinen made his City debut and up until the 78th minute, I would imagine he was pleased with his performance. He looked composed alongside George Heaven and his distribution was really good, picking out a pass rather than going for the long ball. 

However, his mistake for the goal was a schoolboy error. 

No centre-half at that level should have played the ball he did, especially while under pressure. The simple pass was to knock it back to Mark McNulty, play the way he was facing.

Overall, the defence did well but I still would like to see McNulty play the ball out from the back more. 

Across the middle, Cian Bargarry and Dylan McGlade are exciting players but their decision-making could be better. McGlade shows great individuality but needs to learn to release the ball more often and quicker. I would imagine his teammates are fairly frustrated at times. 

Dylan McGlade, Cork City, wins a free-kick after a foul on the edge of the penalty area against Athlone Town. Picture: Larry Cummins
Dylan McGlade, Cork City, wins a free-kick after a foul on the edge of the penalty area against Athlone Town. Picture: Larry Cummins

Gearoid Morrissey and Cian Coleman are still not creating as much as they should at this level. Alec Byrne has been a stand-out player really, plays the simple but effective pass every time. 

I understand it’s still early days and the team needs time to gel but hopefully, they can do so sooner rather than later.

Cobh picked up their first point of the season in the Markets Field. It was Treaty’s third game in a row with a red card so I would imagine Stuart Ashton’s men will be disappointed not to have taken advantage. Especially when they had the extra player for almost an hour after former Cork City man Charlie Fleming was dismissed.

Two big games again this week as Cobh take on Wexford while City face Shels. Let’s hope for better performances and better results.

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