By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Dylan McGlade scored a hat-trick as Cork City began their season in style with an emphatic win over Bray Wanderers in the First Division at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday evening.
Five second-half goals saw them blow away their hosts and send the club to the top of the league. Barry Coffey continued where he left off last season by getting a brace and new signing Ruairi Keating also managed to get on the scoresheet.
It was a convincing win by the Rebel Army and one which will delight all those involved in the club.
There were new faces in the starting 11 for City with Ally Gilchrist and Keating making their City league debuts, while Kevin O’Connor started after returning to the club for the fourth time during the off-season. Fellow newcomers; Jimmy Corcoran, Matt Healy, Matt Srbely and James Doona had to settle for a place amongst the City substitutes.
It was the hosts that had the opening chance of the match when Rob Manley wasted a golden opportunity three minutes into the game. The former Longford Town player got on the end of Paul Fox’s low, driven cross but his tame effort did not trouble David Harrington in the City goal.
City came within inches of taking the lead after Cian Coleman managed to steer an effort goalbound from an inswinging corner, but his effort was cleared off the line much to the disappointment of the City captain.
Vilius Labuitis came within inches of giving the home side the lead when his long-range effort went narrowly wide of the City goal.
City were finding joy down their right-hand side of the pitch with Cian Bargary causing the Bray defence a lot of issues. Bargary played in new signing Keating on the 25th-minute mark, but his strike was collected second time round by Bray keeper Stephen McGuinness.
The opening goal of the game came in the 34th minute. Harrington’s long kick-out was excellently flicked on by Cian Murphy and McGlade cleverly had gambled on his teammate winning his aerial dual and the City winger showed great composure slotting past McGuinness.
The goal seemed to calm the City players and they comfortably saw out the rest of the half.
The conditions forced City to go direct more often than not but they found joy through that tactic. After a nervous defensive start, the City players grew in confidence and deserved to be going in at half-time in the lead.
The visitors doubled their advantage 11 minutes into the second-half when Celtic loanee Coffey picked up a loose ball outside the Bray box and superbly curled the ball low past McGuinness.
Coffey was celebrated two minutes later when he headed home from close-range after a well-worked corner set-piece from City.
City fans had hardly sat down from celebrating their side's third goal when McGlade added his second of the night moments later with another calm finish.
McGlade completed his hat-trick in the 63th minute when the winger found himself through on goal again and his wonderful chip looped over McGuinness.
Keating made it six for Colin Healy’s side when his deflected effort found its way into the Bray net much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
Next up for City is their opening home game of the season against Galway United.
Referee: Gavin Colfer.[event_performance 116403]