IT wasn’t a great performance, it was three points and that’s all that will matter to Colin Healy after Cork City’s 1-0 win against Wexford on Friday.
An early goal from Cian Murphy in the fourth minute was enough to keep them top of the league after the first series of games.
With the early goal, you hoped City would push on and add a few more but Wexford were dogged and hard to break down. The visitors enjoyed the majority of possession early on but good defending and goalkeeping by Paul Hunt denied them.
Wexford shut City down and it was the first game this season where we saw very few attacking options. What was more impressive about the home side was that even defending stoutly they still tried to attack at the other end.
Having conceded early, I expected them to sit back a little but credit to Ian Ryan’s side they played some lovely football. They were aggressive in the tackle and they pressed every ball and will take points from plenty of teams this season.
They play Galway this weekend and it will be interesting to see if they can do City a favour against John Caulfield's side, who have a game in hand over City and are three points behind.
I was happy to see former Cork City goalkeeper Hunt do so well for Wexford. The Longford native sat on the bench for most of last season and so it was great to see him play 90 minutes and do so well. Without costing City the win!
It was a hard-fought outing and I’d imagine Healy won't have been too happy with many elements of the display. They’ve dominated most of their games but certainly didn’t get the same time on the ball against Wexford.
Chances were scarce and I thought midfield were outplayed and bypassed for long spells.
Cian Bargarry and Cian Murphy weren’t as influential as they normally would be. Were Wexford that good at denying City’s attacks or was it a case of a poor evening for City? I would probably say a mixture of both.
I thought Wexford worked hard and used the high press, which City might not have expected. They didn’t seem to have a plan B and were lucky in the end to come away with the win.
So while I didn’t think it was a great performance from City, I believe it is a great opportunity now for the returning injured players to fight their way back into the team.
We have seen dominating performances from the lads in the past few games and I found it hard to see where those on the fringes could feature. Now I believe the team could easily be refreshed.
They have a free week this weekend so it will be a chance for Healy to see more of his players at training and the second phase of games kick off on April 15 as City begin again with Bray.
It will be interesting to see if there are many changes to the starting line-up that night in Turner's Cross.