CORK City’s 4-0 derby victory over Cobh Ramblers on Friday night was no more than they deserved.
Colin Healy’s men might even feel slightly disappointed that they didn’t score more. Before the game, I expected a tight contest but such was City’s dominance, especially in the second half, that they made easy work of their local rivals.
This is a City side improving with every game and Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh is a shining example of a player that is really starting to show what he is capable of. He was excellent against Ramblers and his work-rate and ability to bring others into the game are now starting to be rewarded by getting his name on the scoresheet.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh took his goal excellently against Ramblers. He capitalised on a static Cobh defence and a hesitant goalkeeper. O’Brien-Whitmarsh was proactive by gambling on Ronan Hurley’s clearance and he finish was a lot tougher than it looked because of the amount of time he had.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh would have seen Sean Barron coming towards him and must have been thinking about knocking it past the Ramblers keeper, and at worst, getting taken down. He didn’t panic when Barron retreated and stuck to what I would imagine was his initial thought of chipping the goalkeeper.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh has always impressed me with his holdup play but what I liked about his performance against Cobh was the weight of his passes. The pace of his passes to his teammates allowed them to put first-time crosses into the box, which made it difficult for Ramblers’ defenders. O’Brien-Whitmarsh never forced a teammate to take an extra touch with his passes, therefore quickening City’s play.
I thought his strike partner Cian Murphy had one of his quieter games but still got on the scoresheet, and that’s the sign of a really good striker. He took his goal really well and demonstrated his pace and confidence in the buildup before giving Barron little chance with his finish.
Barry Coffey was City’s other goalscorer on the night. His two goals might have seemed simple finishes but he deserves a lot of credit for his determination to get into the box. It seems in the modern game that some midfielders are either lazy or don’t think it’s their job to get into the opposition box but Coffey's goals show that midfielders do get rewarded to putting the effort in.
At least one centre-midfielder should always try and get into the opposition box on attacks, because they will often find themselves free because opposition midfielders are too lazy to track their run, and defenders are too occupied with the strikers. In his few appearances, Coffey has shown his best strength to be making runs off the striker and getting into the box.
City’s superior fitness was a telling factor in the outcome of the result. For 45 minutes, Cobh were able to match the intensity of City and will feel unlucky to have gone in behind at half-time, but in the second half, the visitors were overrun by their hosts and towards the end of the game, Ramblers simply could not live with the pace City were playing at.
This is a young City side, who would be naturally fit anyway, but obviously, the intensity they have trained at throughout the season is really starting to benefit them now.
City went with a 4-4-2 formation again -which is their best formation, but they struggled at times in the first half when Cobh were able to find gaps in between City’s defence and midfield. Alec Byrne and Coffey are both good players but I don’t think defending is their strong point.
They weren’t stopping passes into the feet of Ciaran Griffin or Nathan O’Connell. When balls were played into Griffin, they needed to be closer to him so that his touch had to be perfect for him to remain in possession because Cian Coleman and Josh Honohan were always close to Griffin when he was on the ball they just needed Byrne or Coffey to be the other side.
It was another strong performance from City and there is a lot for fans to be hopeful about.