THIS was a disaster for Cork City on Friday at St Colman’s Park, going down 1-0 to local rivals Cobh Ramblers.
Like most derbies, this was a tough battle. From start to finish it was physical with a lot of grit and passion, but mainly coming from the home team.
Both sides headed into the game desperately seeking a win with City on just nine points while Ramblers a position below on five.
Although their positions in the table remain the same after last Friday's result, City will be hugely disappointed with the loss. However, this was a well-deserved victory for Stuart Ashton's side.
It’s a sad reflection on Cork soccer seeing both sides near the bottom of the First Division. And looking at both clubs, it’s City who appear to be in bigger trouble.
Last Friday's game wasn’t a great spectacle by any means. Neither team played attractive football however I didn’t expect they would in this local derby.
I knew it would be a battle and that it was. I also knew the tight pitch wouldn’t suit City and would stop them from playing ball the way they like.
Cobh as expected were physical and well up for the challenge. But they also played the better football for the second time this season between the sides.
They had a game plan and executed it perfectly. Did Cobh care that it wasn’t a spectacle? Certainly not. Their tactics worked and their first win at home this season couldn’t have been sweeter.
I was disappointed that City couldn’t match Ramblers' intensity. Ramblers worked hard, they showed passion and hunger. I thought the sides were fairly even in the opening 20 minutes, and then City dominated for maybe a 10-minute period where Cian Bargary had two half-chances to take the lead.
However, the impressive Killian Cooper also had a glorious chance before Dylan McGlade went close from a free.
The second half saw much the same as the first with very little between the sides and with Alec Byrne getting the best chance of the half when he did well to get in behind the defence only to see his effort sail inches wide.
Ten minutes later the home side broke the deadlock when Jake Hegarty blasted home from close range.
City should have equalised minutes. Brunson O’Brien Whitmarsh got on the end of a perfect delivery from McGlade and he will know himself he should have hit the back of the net.
Credit to Cobh for seeing out the game. I was impressed by James McCarthy, who I hadn’t seen before. The full-back has immense pace and was solid all evening and I look forward to seeing more of him throughout the season. Both sides share a win apiece this season and it will be interesting when they meet again on August 13 to see if supporters at Turner's Cross can add to the occasion.
So after the latest loss, City continue their bid to win away from home. They haven't done so since May 2019.
A worrying time for Colin Healy and his side and one would hope that this mid-season break would revive the team because there is something seriously wrong at the moment.
Yes, we have said they are a work in progress. They are a young side however they also have a lot of experienced players and not many would have predicted at the beginning of the season that City would be in this position.
Yes, it’s the toughest this division has been for a long time but that’s no excuse. A club like City should still be competing for honours. I can’t pinpoint what the problem is.
To be fair to them they have tightened up at the back, they have stopped leaking sloppy goals and although they’re not scoring a lot at the other end, to be fair the strikers aren’t getting a lot of supply either.
So overall it’s just disappointing to watch and I can’t see it getting better any time soon.