A HARD-EARNED 3-2 win for Cork City over Cobh Ramblers on Friday night at St Colman’s Park keeps them top of the league.
It was a typical derby, full of passion, commitment, hard tackles and one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen in St Colman’s Park. The 3,942 were treated to a great game with some excellent goals.
City began the brighter and took the lead after 12 minutes when Ruairí Keating tapped in from close range from Matt Healy's ball. Healy then doubled the lead on the half-hour mark with a top-class strike giving keeper Andy O’Donoghue no chance.
The hosts responded well minutes later when former Cork City player Beneoin O'Brien Whitmarsh headed in, much to the joy of the huge support. The superb goal was what Darren Murphy’s side needed before the break. It injected a bit of fight and from here on in, they played the better football.
The impressive Darragh O’Sullivan Connell at left-back began many of the attacks and Ramblers came out a different side in the second half. They attacked City and deservedly got the equaliser when Conor Drinan capitalised on a poor clearance from Dave Harrington.
Drinan was without doubt the standout player on Friday night. While Pierce Philips pipped him for the 96FM Player of the Match award, and with no disrespect to Philips, Drinan was sensational throughout. He was a joy to watch and was unlucky not to add to his tally. He was a huge threat.
City had a great chance to retake the lead when Cian Murphy went on a superb run but one-on-one with O'Donoghue, the Ramblers netminder did superbly to deny him. It didn’t take long before City were in front when captain Cian Coleman rose highest from a corner.
Credit to Ramblers they never gave up and finished the game the stronger and really pushed to get a point. O’Brien Whitmarsh and Drinan were denied when their efforts were cleared off the City line.
It was a relief for City management and fans at the final whistle, as for the final few minutes the momentum was certainly with Cobh.
City’s performance wasn’t the best but Colin Healy will be happy with another three points gained. St Colman’s Park is never an easy place to go to and the tight pitch certainly doesn’t suit City's type of players.
Their main attacking threats come from the flanks and apart from brief spells from Murphy, these were non-existent.
I expect things to return to normal on Friday when Longford come to the Cross.
The big pitch suits City better and so while they scraped the win against Cobh, at the end of the day, it was three points and that is all that matters.