Scoreline flattered Cork City against a stylish Longford side

Colin Healy's side might have won 4-1 on Friday night but will need to be much better on Monday against Longford
Scoreline flattered Cork City against a stylish Longford side

Cork City's Matt Healy stops Longford Town's Dean McMenamey in action on Friday night. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IT'S fair to say the better footballing side lost on Friday night at Turner's Cross.

As strange as it might seem when you look at a 4-1 scoreline I don’t think any of the 2,337 in attendance could have predicted this score, even after an hour.

City went behind when Sam Verdon scored and it was nothing more than the visitors deserved in the first half. They should have been two up as an error from Dave Harrington left Eric Molly with a perfect opportunity but to be fair to the City keeper, he more than made up for his mistake with a great save.

Ryan Graydon and Darren Craven were excellent for Longford and caused all sorts of problems with their slick one-touch passing. The loss of Craven after 30 minutes through a knee injury proved to be key.

So while the visitors dominated possession and took the lead, an own goal from Longford’s Michael Barker levelled.

The first half performance from Longford was one of the best I’ve seen from a First Division side all season. 

Their physicality was a problem for City and their movement, passing and ability to keep possession was a joy to watch. They made City look average, operating at a level I would love to see City at.

Cork City's Cian Coleman heads goalwards against Longford Town at Turner's Cross. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork City's Cian Coleman heads goalwards against Longford Town at Turner's Cross. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A few minutes of madness changed the game.

Just before half-time City were gifted the equaliser and straight after the break, when it looked like Longford would take the lead once again only for Eric Molly to miss a sitter, City took full advantage. To be fair, scored some great goals after.

City went 2-1 up when Man of the match Barry Coffey got his first after a superb piece of play that involved Cian Coleman and Cian Bargarry.

Things improved further when Matt Healy came close with a superb left-footed strike which was tipped over and then Coffey pounced for the third through a crowded box.

At this stage, Longford were deflated. City made a few changes, Mark O’Mahony, Darragh Crowley, Matt Serbly and James Doona replacing Cian Murphy, Jonas Hakkinen, Coffey and Bargarry. All four were eager to get involved and Crowley unleashed an unstoppable shot to the back of the net to give his side what looked like a comfortable 4-1 win.

The result keeps City at the top with Galway a close second. On Friday, Galway trailed by two goals late on against Treaty but credit to John Caulfield’s outfit who drew level and then grabbed a late winner.

Cobh picked up another point on the road as they managed a 1-1 draw away to Bray so it was a good weekend all round. 

City will now face Treaty this afternoon in Turner’s Cross in another Munster derby and I expect another good contest but another three points for the hosts.

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