CORK City, once again, were the creators of their own downfall against Shelbourne at Tolka Park last Friday night.
City looked on course to earn a credible against the league leaders before a misplaced pass from Dale Holland allowed Ryan Brennan to grab all three points for Shels. Speaking after his side’s 2-1 defeat, City manager Colin Healy expressed his annoyance regarding the winning goal.
"Very frustrating,” said Healy. “We got back into the game with a great goal by Cian Murphy, and to give away a goal like that, especially against a team that are a good side, is very frustrating. We have been here before. A mistake again in the game and we get punished for it."
City, again, conceded from a set-piece and Healy believes that his team can’t afford to keep making the same mistakes.
"We created chances. We had chances right at the end but we didn’t take them. We knew coming up, that at set-plays, they are very dangerous. We conceded from one, and a silly goal like that you're going to get punished for it.
“It’s happened a lot this year. The boys need to learn. They need to learn that if you give Michael O’Connor and the boy Brennan chances, then they are going to score, and that’s what happened.”
The City manager acknowledged that his players did sit off Shels and allow the league leaders time in possession throughout the first half and that his side have to be better on the ball.
"We had midfielders drop back into full-back areas and that obviously made it difficult to press them, so we did drop back. We didn’t keep the ball either. We were getting it and we were giving it away. I thought in the second half, we were good. They didn’t cause us too many problems.
“The lads are working hard and the decision-making can affect it [City not keeping possession] as well.
Shelbourne are a very experienced team compare to City. The Dubliners have one of the deeper budgets in the division and were able to recruit players who have played a lot of games in the League of Ireland. Although Healy believed inexperience played a key part in his side's defeat, he also praised his players for their efforts.
“They're a good side. They’ve got a lot of experienced players and I would imagine that they have by far a bigger budget than ourselves, and you can see that. You look at their subs and all that kind of stuff. They're an experienced side.
"I thought if we stopped the mistakes and that, we had a chance. But it’s very hard when you make silly mistakes and you get punished for them. It’s hard to take because you come up here, the boys, they never gave up, they kept going, but we just couldn’t get that goal at the end.
“We were coming up here to win, like every game, and it’s hard to take; another defeat. We had a great game against Athlone last week. We came up here, and listen, we were beaten and we get nothing for it. The lads worked so hard."
Despite the defeat, City reaming just six points outside the playoffs and will be looking to get their season back on track against Treaty United in their next outing.