NOT the start Colin Healy wanted, or that any of us expected, to the second series of games in the First Division.
Cork City had to settle for a disappointing 0-0 draw against Bray Wanderers on Friday night.
Just over eight weeks ago when these sides met in the Carlisle Grounds, City enjoyed a comfortable 6-0 victory. It's hard to believe in such a short space of time that the rematch would see the clubs share the points. A disappointing result no doubt which allowed John Caulfield's Galway to go level at the top with City.
While Healy did say during last week's press conference that he expected Bray to be a better outfit this time round having tightened up in defence, supporters were still confident that the hosts would get three points; hopefully the result won’t come back to haunt the Rebel Army in the business end of the season.
In front of a home crowd of 2,773, it was set up for City to continue their good run of form, playing with confidence all over the pitch, scoring goals and defending superbly as they have been. That simply wasn’t the case on Friday night.
Apart from Barry Coffey missing a sitter and maybe a penalty shout, City created very little.
With City having no game last week, there was always a fear the momentum would be broken. Was this the reason they didn’t perform well? It certainly looked like it affected their intensity, which clearly lacked throughout the game.
City had been playing exceptionally before the break but on Friday night they lacked any real spark. And while they had a few half-chances throughout the game, they probably got what they deserved in the end, just the point.
Healy made one change from their previous game to the starting XI when Matt Healy returned from injury and he replaced Kieran Coates. Healy was later substituted for captain Cian Coleman who also returned from injury.
City were poor, in particular in the first half, but Healy's talk at halftime injected a little bit of intensity. City looked a different side in the opening 10 minutes on the restart. In this period with the amount of possession they enjoyed as well as a few corners, I expected them to get the opener however it wasn’t to be.
Ruairi Keating, Cian Bargarry and Cian Murphy looked a threat but their opponents had a plan and executed it excellently. They defended resolutely.
Up next for City is Monday's away fixture against Waterford. Another tough game. Waterford on the other hand will also be hoping to get back to winning ways after suffering a disappointing loss to Galway
Both will be eager to get three points and for confidence, City will need to get something from this game before they head into their local derby against Cobh on Friday.