THERE was no fairytale return to the Premier Division for Cork City as they were well beaten by Bohemians in front of 6,487 supporters at Turner's Cross on Friday night.
City can have no complaints with the result as the Gypies were by far superior to their opponents on the night.
Goals from Grant Horton and Jordan Flores made it a miserable night for the Rebel Army, with Ruairi Keating getting on the scoresheet for the hosts.
The Gypies' dominant victory was a reminder to City of just how much of a step-up in quality their opponents will be this year compared to last.
There was a defying atmosphere at the beginning of the match with both sets of supporters contributing. It was the away side that settled the better of the teams. Ali Coote was causing City problems with his clever positioning and sharpness on the ball. Declan Devine’s side were aggressive in their press out of possession, which forced City to go more direct. The home side's main threat came from Cian Baragary’s long throws into the Bohs penalty area.
Coote played a big part in the opening goal of the game. The former Waterford player skipped past a feeble challenge before picking out Horton, whose header back across goal gave Tobi Oluwayemi no chance.
The goal was no more than the Gypies deserved. The away side were in total control of the game, with City struggling to get anywhere near their opponents. Apart from Coote, Jonathan Afolabi was making his presence known, with the striker causing the City defence all sorts of problems.
There were rare moments of hope for City fans. Keating did well to break with the ball and get City higher up the pitch before releasing Kevin Custovic down the left-hand side. However, the Swede failed to make anything of it.
Owolabi caused a brief moment of panic for the Bohs defence in the latter stages of the half, but nothing significant came of it.
City manager Colin Healy reacted to his side’s poor first-half display by switching to a 4-3-3 formation. However, the switch in formation did not seem to faze Bohs. The away side would have doubled their lead had it not been for some poor finishing from Oluwaseun Akintunde, who directed his header wide from inside the six-yard box.
The Gypies didn’t have to wait long to get their second with Flores getting on the scoresheet just nine minutes into the second half. Although Flores' strike was hit with venom, Oluwayemi should have done better, with the keeper completely misjudging the flight and direction of the ball.
Oluwayemi does deserve credit for preventing Afolabi from furthering his team’s lead moments later, with the Celtic loanee smartly stopping the striker’s low effort.
The home side were given a lifeline when James Talbort outdid his counterpart by making an error of his own after his feet got caught on the ball, which left Keating with the simplest of finishes.
Daniel Krezic almost levelled proceedings in the final minute but his header drifted agonisingly wide of the goal.
Oluwayemi; Honohan, Gilchrist, Coleman; Bargary, Custovic, Bolger, Coffey (Crowley 81), Wimbo (Healy 60); Keating, Owolabi (Krezic 81).
Talbot; Buckley, Kirk, Horton, Radkowski; McDonnell, Coote (Clarke 76) Flores; Connolly (Twardek 88), Akintunde (McDaid 52), Afolabi (Williams 76).