Cobh Ramblers 0 Cork City 1
CORK City are through to the next round of the FAI Cup following a derby victory over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park on Sunday.
However, the collapsed fence in the aftermath of the opening City goal celebrations will be a strong talking point and an FAI investigation is sure to commence immediately in the days ahead.
Ultimately though, City's dreams of reaching the showpiece occasion at the Aviva Stadium still remain alive and they can look forward to being included in the second-round draw which will be held on Tuesday.
City are a side very much on a mission to secure promotion back to the League Of Ireland Premier Division. But the FAI Cup brings back some good recent memories for the club, particularly the cup final wins over Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium in 2016 and 2017.
For this cup clash, City made five changes for the away league win in Wexford last time out. Jimmy Corcoran, Dylan McGlade and Louis Britton were among those brought into the starting team by manager Colin Healy.
Ramblers boss Shane Keegan went with the same starting eleven that were victorious last weekend in league action against Bray.
There was an electric atmosphere at the Cobh venue, with both sets of supporters in plenty of voice and colour ahead of kick-off.
Cobh began with strong intent and the hosts had the first clear-cut chance of the game in the 7th minute, with Luke Desmond curled wide from a decent position on the edge of the box.
Matt Healy has made a habit of scoring screamers for City this season. He took aim from long range in the 9th minute, but it went well over the crossbar.
Ramblers had another great chance just shy of the quarter of an hour mark when Jake Hegarty forced a good save out of City goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran, after some good work by Daragh O’Sullivan to run and cross in the build-up.
Cobh had appeals for a penalty turned down on 20 minutes as James O’Leary went on a dangerous run into the box. But it was Ramblers that were seeing the better of the overall exchanges of the two teams at this point.
Ruairi Keating looked to inject City into life, with his shot from a dangerous position blocked down well by O’Sullivan Connell, with Dale Holland shooting just wide at the other end for Ramblers.
City grew into proceedings as the opening half progressed and the away side went into the lead in the 27th minute. Keating did well to finish from close range inside the box, after a clever free kick by Healy into his path.
There was then a delay in play caused by a collapsed fence in front of the City supporters in the goal celebrations, with 11 minutes of stoppage time added on at the end of the opening half as a result.
When the action did resume, City managed proceedings well and ultimately went in at the break holding the advantage.
Cork City had an early chance seconds into the second half, when Healy fired wide from long range, with Keating dragging his shot wide around the egde of the box moments later.
Ramblers continued to battle and search for a crucial opening, but they were finding the City defence a tougher nut to crack in the second half, with Holland seeing his shot blocked down well by Barry Coffey.
Former City player John Kavanagh went close for Ramblers when he curled a shot just over from inside the box.
On 76 minutes Keating went close as fired over the crossbar on the volley for the away side.
As Cobh kept on fighting right up until the very end, City showed why they have had such an excellent defensive record.
Sean McGrath went close for Cobh in stoppage time, with Charlie Fleming going close from a free kick also.