Cork City getting results but must play better to stay on target for promotion

Rebel Army dug out a derby win against Cobh Ramblers but their form has dipped a bit lately
Cork City getting results but must play better to stay on target for promotion

Cork City's Cian Murphy shoots as Cobh Ramblers' Ben O'Riordan closes in, during their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Turner's Cross. Picture: David Keane.

A HARD-EARNED 1-0 win for Cork City in their local derby clash with Cobh Rambler’s Friday night at Turners Cross puts them back on top of the league after Galway’s shock draw with Treaty United.

It was not your typical derby, not a lot of passion, commitment, tension or even hard tackles. The small crowd of 2,307 were not treated to a great game of football but for City, it was three points and that’s all that will matter to Colin Healy.

It was a game I felt Cobh deserved something from, given their dominance for almost an hour. They created a few chances and at the other end, they defended superbly with captain on the night Ben O’Riordan doing well. Interim manager Ivan Bevan made a few changes to his starting XI and also went five at the back which looked to have upset City who found it difficult to break down.

For 60 minutes the visitors enjoyed a lot of possession with the impressive Sean McGrath being the stand-out player in the game.

McGrath was a late call into the starting team when Jason Abbott picked up a late injury. He certainly should have cemented his place in the first 11 for Cobh’s next game now.

There were very few chances created in the opening half, City's best coming from Matt Srbely whose shot was just inches wide of the post while at the other end James O’Leary looked to have beaten Dave Harrington but his effort was just inches wide.

It’s hard to believe Cobh have the worst defensive record in the league with 48 goals conceded because on Friday against City they worked well as a unit, matched City for physicality and pace and rarely were outplayed.

After a dour first half you hoped things would be better after the restart. Yes, City attacked more but the football was still poor and an early goal was badly needed.

 Cork City's Kevin O'Connor and Cobh Ramblers' Conor Drinan, battle for possession. Picture: David Keane.
Cork City's Kevin O'Connor and Cobh Ramblers' Conor Drinan, battle for possession. Picture: David Keane.

It came just after the hour mark when Darragh Crowley, who had been on the pitch just two minutes, tapped in. The visitors will be disappointed to have left him unmarked inside the box, however, you could see the goal was coming with City showing their fitness at this stage.

Sean Barron had also made a superb save six minutes later to deny City doubling their lead when Cian Coleman’s header looked goal-bound before Barron stretched to deny him. Josh Honohan looked to have got City's second but it was ruled out for a foul on Barron. This gave the visitors a boost and for the remaining few minutes they threw everything at the game and were unlucky not to get the equaliser. A superb run from Danny O’Connell who pulled the ball back for McGrath but he will be disappointed with his effort.

The visitors finished the game with 10 ten men after the dismissal of Darragh O’Sullivan Connell, who was solid throughout and who will be disappointed to pick up a second yellow so late in the game.

News from Eamonn Deacy Park that John Caulfield’s side had drawn to Treaty United, made City’s three points more special. City are back on top of the league but performances need to improve in order for them to stay there. Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was in attendance but I don’t imagine he was too impressed.

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