Cork City 5 Wexford Youths 0
CORK City ended their five-game winless run with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Wexford Youths in the SSE Airtricity First Division at Turner's Cross on Friday night.
Two goals each from Beineon O’Brien Whitemarsh and Cian Murphy and a goal from Darragh Crowley gave City their first victory since the opening day of the season.
After some poor results, there was a lot of pressure on City to get a victory against a side who had not picked up a point this season. This young City side showed that there is hope after tonight’s performance and that the play-offs are not an unrealistic expectation for the club.
Despite Gearoid Morrissey returning to the matchday squad, City manager Colin Healy named the same starting 11 that drew with Bray Wanderers in their last outing – the first time he has selected the same starting 11 for consecutive games this season.
After a tense opening to the game – in which the ball spent little time on the surface - it was City that settled the better of the sides and took the lead in the 12th minute. Healy, who has been critical of his side’s defending from set-pieces this year, saw his team take the lead through their own set-piece.
Jack Baxter’s corner found the head of the unmarked Murphy, who headed home from six yards, and in doing so, scored his first senior league goal for the club. It was poor defending from Youths and easy to see why they had conceded 15 goals in six games before Friday’s game.
City didn’t have to wait long to double its lead. Youths struggled to deal with a long throw into their penalty area and Jack Walsh flicked on to Crowley, who looped his header over Youths goalkeeper Ross Tracey.
Tracey had only signed for Youths earlier in the week after Wexford had both of their goalkeepers sent-off against UCD last weekend. The former Drogheda United goalkeeper had a debut to forget and gifted Murphy his second goal of the evening. The City player was quick to close down Tracey when he hesitated in possession and the Youths keeper’s clearance ricocheted off Murphy into an empty net.
Wexford caused City little trouble in the first half and registered their only shot in target with three minutes remaining in the half. Jack Dorthey tried his luck with a long-range free-kick but it was comfortably tipped over the crossbar by City goalkeeper Mark McNulty.
It was a first half that would have pleased City manager. His side were comfortable in possession of the ball and were hard-working without the ball, not allowing Youths to grow into the game.
City began the second-half on the front foot and Murphy will be disappointed not to have had his hat-trick in the opening moments of the half. He robbed Youths defender Luke Turner of possession but was excellently denied by Treacy.
Tracey’s evening got worse, when he spilled a long-range effort from Crowley and substitute Beinon O’Brien Whitemarsh was quickest to react and tapped home.
Youths best chance came directly from a corner, but McNulty’s was saved when the ball struck the City post.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh got his side's fifth of the night in injury time to round off the scoring. Next up for City, is a trip to face UCD.
McNulty; Walker, Coleman, Hakkinen, Hurley; Bargary (McGlade 73), Baxter (Holland 80), Byrne, Murphy; Walsh (O’Brien-Whitmarsh 64), Crowley (Wynne 73).
Treacy; Cleary, Turner, Carroll, O’Hanlon; Crowley, Manahan (Smith 55), Fitzsimons, Doherty, Groome; Robinson (Larkin 83).