Cobh Ramblers 1 Cork City 0
A MASSIVE win and the derby bragging rights were claimed by Cobh Ramblers thanks to Jake Hegarty's second-half goal at St Colman's Park.
Cork City were given a pre-match boost when the news broke on Friday evening that their next home game against Cabinteely on Friday, June 11 will be attended by 600 as the government begins to trail the safe return of supporters post-Covid.
That didn't help them here of course, as Cobh avenged their loss on the first day of the campaign at Turner's Cross.
Both teams came into this encounter at the bottom end of the league and in need of the victory. Soccer in Cork can surely do much better than having two teams eighth and ninth in the First Division, but that's a longer-term debate for another day. Ramblers, who were looking to end their recent slump in form, came into this derby with three changes from their outing last week in Athlone.
James McCarthy was handed his Cobh debut, along with Ben O’Riordan and Jake Hegarty, who replaced Conor Drinan, Darryl Walsh and the injured John Kavanagh.
City, who started the night five points adrift of the playoff places, and made two changes from their home draw last week against Galway, with George Heaven and Alec Byrne starting ahead of Beineón O'Brien-Whitmarsh and the injured Ronan Hurley.
In the opening half of play, Cobh looked fired up for this derby and were looking to get instantly on the front foot. But it was City who had the first opportunity of note, with a Jack Baxter effort on the volley going over the crossbar from around the edge of the box.
The opening 20 minutes of this contest were generally quite even between these two rivals, but the away side were looking threatening as they drove forward.
City by this stage had a great chance to open the scoring account, when Cian Bargary smashed his volley off the post following a cross by Alec Byrne.
Ramblers were to gradually grow into the contest the longer the opening half went on and the home side had a great opportunity just past the half hour. A spell of Cobh attacking pressure saw the ball eventually fall to Killian Cooper, who was to fire his low strike just wide.
Right at the end of the opening half, City went close as Dylan McGlade was to strike a free-kick sweetly, but the Ramblers keeper Sean Barron was able to pull off the save.
Cobh caused problems from a first-half stoppage time corner, with Darragh Crowley appearing to clear off the line. But at the halftime whistle, there was nothing to separate the teams.
After the break, City came back out and started strongly. They were to go close on 52 minutes through a Gearoid Morrissey effort which was to hit the post. Moments later Alec Byrne fired over the bar from a decent position for the visitors, while Bargary also missed an early second-half opportunity.
Somewhat against the run of play, Ramblers struck in the 62nd minute, Jake Hegarty smashing in a cross into his path for his first goal in Cobh colours.
Barron was called into action to make a good save for Cobh from a Beneoin O’Brien-Whitmarsh shot on 70 minutes, with Cobh seeing a David O’Leary effort blocked down in a decent position.
Ramblers were working their socks off and Darren Murphy was not far away with a well-struck effort.
City were doing all they can to push for levelling goal, with a McGlade free the closest they would come late on. But it was Ramblers who held on for what they hope will be a morale-boosting victory.
When the action resumes after the mid-season break on June 11, City host to Cabinteely. On the same night, Ramblers travel to face UCD.