WAS it a five-star performance by Cork City against Wexford? No, but it didn’t have to be for Colin Healy’s men to claim their second win of the season, with both successes now coming at Turner’s Cross.
More on Wexford’s dreadfulness later but for now City fans - particularly the hardy few that could be heard singing in the rain outside the stadium in the second half - should take confidence and revel in the 5-0 victory.
That narrow 2-1 win against Cobh Ramblers on the opening day of the season feels like a long time ago now. Six weeks have passed since they scraped past their local rivals thanks to goals from the Cians, Coleman and Bargary, but the winless run has thankfully ended at five fixtures.
The unbeaten run now stands at two games though as City built on last week’s dour 0-0 draw away to Bray Wanderers (it really was dour but not a bad result to be fair) with their second clean sheet in succession, and their second overall this campaign.
Alec Byrne was excellent, Jonas Hakkinen passed the ball well out from the back although as a unit they can still move it quicker.
The Leesiders were well organised and pressed with intensity to stop their opponents from creating any goal-scoring opportunities of note.
Wexford only came close to netting on two occasions, once in each half. First, their number 10 Jack Doherty tried his luck from distance but Mark McNulty comfortably tipped his powerful strike over his crossbar, just to be safe.
And in the second half, they hit the inside of the far left post from out of nowhere but Jack Larkin was desperately unlucky to see his inswinging corner kick crash against the woodwork.
They were unfortunate in that instance, but they deserved everything else that came their way. Is it time to talk about how bad they were? Ok, but then back to more positives from a Cork City point of view.
Wexford have now been involved in seven match days in this 2021 SSE Airtricity League First Division. They have zero defeats, zero draws, and seven defeats. They have conceded 20 goals (14 of those coming in their last three games) and scored twice. They have zero points, of course.
Given the nature of how their season has gone so far, it’s little surprise that they were 3-0 inside a half an hour here, and even less surprising they all but accepted their fate for the evening at that juncture.
Those three goals in particular - which most of you may have seen on social media by now thanks to LOI TV - weren’t exactly well created.
The first; a corner and a header from six yards into the far left corner. The second; a throw-in, a header, another header, and yet another header from six yards into the far left corner.
And the third; the goalkeeper (Wexford’s Ross Treacy, who was only signed in the days before the game and was immediately called upon to step in following their first and second choice keepers receiving red cards last weekend) has the ball in his hands, throws it in front of himself to play from the ground but his clearance is blocked and ricocheted into the far left corner.
They all count, and how City finally needed that bit of good fortune to go their way. It was deserved. So now back to the City positives.
Cian Murphy takes the credit for his side’s first and third finish and you could really see in his celebration what that opener meant to him. It was his first senior goal for the club, it should give him the confidence he needs to kick on from here.
The only shame was that he didn’t complete his hat trick in the second half, with the linesman’s flag denying him late on proving to be particularly disappointing.
The same goes for young attacker Darragh Crowley in terms of confidence with his looping header over the third choice shot-stopper clinically taken. It should give him a lift.
It was still 3-0 when Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh was introduced after 64 minutes but he would add more gloss to the scoreline with two poachers finishes in the closing stages.
With those three off the mark, hopefully, the clever Jack Walsh is next to follow as City look to keep climbing the table having now moved from ninth to seventh.
The games won’t always be this easy though. Next up, they travel to league leaders UCD.