I WASN'T surprised by how Munster derby played out between Cork City and Treaty United.
Neither side did enough to win the match and the draw was a fair result. City, as they had in their previous two meetings against Treaty, dominated possession throughout but lacked quality in the final third. Treaty sat off City and made it a frustrating game for Colin Healy’s side.
I would imagine the City players will be glad to see the back of Treaty and I also would imagine, the word ‘horrible’ would have been used a lot in the City dressing room after the match when referencing Treaty’s style of play. When players refer to a team as ‘horrible’, it means they think they get 11-men behind the ball, will put every set-piece into the opposition box, and will rarely pass the ball out from the back in order to limit the risk of conceding a goal.
City would have expected all of these tactics from the Limerick side before the match and Treaty didn’t disappoint. Yes, City could have done more to win the game, but it’s difficult playing against a side that sets up like Treaty did.
An early goal would have been ideal for City because it would have meant that Treaty would have had to come out and attack Healy’s men, which would have made more space for City’s forwards to get in behind.
He will be annoyed with himself by the way he failed to control the ball with his only real opportunity of the game in the first half.
Had Murphy taken a better touch in the 35th minute, then his goal tally could well have been higher than his 10 league goals. Whether he just found it difficult to adjust his feet to properly control Gordon Walker’s hooked ball back into the Treaty penalty area or he was distracted by the on-rushing Tadhg Ryan in the Treaty goal, Murphy will be disappointed not to have done better.
Although Treaty did make life difficult for City, I still felt that there were times that some City players did not move the ball quick enough or they took too many touches when in possession.
They had joy when they were playing passes around the corners to fullbacks or wingers first time.
I am an advocate of using a long throw if you have a player that possesses the ability to do so, that doesn’t mean that teams should continue to use this asset at every possible opportunity if they are having little reward from it. I lost count of the number of times Cian Bargary threw the ball into the Treaty penalty area without any joy.
There comes a time, when the players need to realise when something isn’t working. Some might say it is the manager’s responsibility to tell his players to stop using this tactic but for me; players have to be clever enough on the pitch to give Bargary the option to go short rather than just throwing the ball into the Treaty box and having the same outcome of little happening from it.
City changed to a 4-3-3 formation which did surprise me. I don’t think the lone striker role suits Murphy because it limits him in terms of working the channels as he has to stay more central without a partner playing alongside him.
You can’t fault Healy for his ambition to win the game with four strikers on the pitch at the end of the game for City but unfortunately for the Rebel Army, they just couldn’t find the breakthrough.
A point away from home is never a bad result but in terms of City’s play-off hopes it all but ends their chances of playing in the top-tier next season.
That will frustrate the management staff and players, when they know that Treaty will be in the play-offs and City are every bit as good as the Limerick side.