A DISASTER for Colin Healy’s side on Friday, their Munster derby defeat to Treaty United leaves them second from bottom in the First Division.
Did they deserve to lose this game? Certainly not.
What made it worse was that it was the best I’ve seen City play this season. They played with a tempo, aggression and hunger right from the beginning and had four great goal-scoring opportunities within the first 10 minutes.
However, against the run of play, they conceded after 15 minutes when Kieran Hanlon scored from the penalty spot after Jonas Hakkinen handled the ball inside the area. Very disappointing and yet another silly mistake from the defender.
Credit to City they continued to pile the pressure on the Treaty defence and richly deserved their equaliser six minutes later when the impressive Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh blasted home from close range.
They passed the ball really well and enjoyed most of the possession with Alec Byrne and Gearoid Morrissey dominating in midfield while Cian Murphy, Dylan McGlade and O’Brien Whitmarsh were a real threat going forward. This resulted in City taking the lead just before the break when the hard-working Murphy was quickest to react from a mistake in the Treaty defence and bury home to take the lead at the break.
There was a great atmosphere at the Cross and all 200 fans were certainly enjoying City’s performance up until the break. There was a great intensity to the game and we imagined City would drive on and continue to be a threat in the second half.
However, once again, they conceded in the same fashion as the first, a penalty in the opening minute of the half with a handball in the box, this time by Gordon Walker. Hanlon converted from the spot to level.
For the next 10 minutes, the sides battled hard however again it was City with the chances through Byrne and McGlade going close while Treaty created nothing. Tommy Barrett introduced fresh legs for the visitors, something City should have done sooner than they did.
The lively William Armshaw and midfielder Joe Collins offered more pace for the visitors and 10 minutes after their introduction the latter put the visitors ahead, which eventually proved to be the winner. He was unmarked and struck from 25 yards. That should not be happening.
For the remaining 15 minutes, it was City who enjoyed the majority of possession again, but still, nothing to show for it. Jack Walsh was introduced for Darragh Crowley and Uniss Kargbo replaced Gordon Walker.
The latter a strange substitution I thought, bringing on a full-back when chasing a game.
There were shouts for two penalties late in the game for the home side and I definitely think referee Eoghan O’Shea got at least one of them wrong. Both were tackles on O’Brien Whitmarsh by Treaty keeper Shane Cusack and although I didn’t see a clear free for the first, I do believe the second call should have been a penalty.
However even if so, a draw would even have seemed like a loss. For City to play like they did, have the amount of possession as they did, and for the opposition to create as little as they did, I would imagine Healy and his new assistant Richie Holland must have been so disheartened.
For me it’s a case of, how can they do better than they did last Friday? When will they learn not to make such silly mistakes at the back? When will they become more clinical in front of goal?
Time is running out and games are getting tougher. Up next for City is another home fixture against Bray, who had a 2-1 win over Cobh Ramblers last weekend so again another tough test.
I'm confident if they can play with the same tempo and cut out the mistakes at the back, they could get a long-awaited and badly-needed victory.