Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Despite stretching their unbeaten run to 13 league games, Cork City will be disappointed to have dropped points against Wexford at Turner's Cross on Friday night.
The draw leaves City two points behind Galway United heading into next week’s top-of-the-table clash. Kevin O’Connor had given City the lead in the first half but the visitors drew level early in the second half when former City player Conor Davies got on the scoresheet.
The result was a fair reflection of the game with both sides missing several opportunities to get maximum points.
Even though there was a 20-point gap between the sides in the table, Wexford were looking the better of the teams in the early stages. Ian Ryan’s men were comfortable in possession and City were struggling to find their rhythm in the game.
Colin Healy’s team did navigate their way into the match. Ruairi Keating was denied by an excellent block from Joe Manley before Cian Coleman headed over from close-range.
City should have taken the lead when Keating got on the end of O’Connor’s delightful cross but Alex Moody was quick to get down to his near post to deny the striker. However, there was nothing the keeper could do to stop O’Connor from giving City the lead just seconds later when the full-back showed great technique to strike beyond Moody.
Wexford responded impressively and came close to levelling the scoreline on two occasions. Firstly, David Harrington prevented Davis with a smart save and then Coleman was in the right place to clear Jack Doherty’s effort off the line.
Keating’s frustration in front of goal grew as he was again denied by Moody. The striker managed to create space for himself in the penalty area but failed to set himself right with his first touch and could only manage a tame shot at the keeper.
City registered the final opportunity of the half with Barry Coffey seeing his speculative curling effort go narrowly wide.
Wexford were level two minutes into the second half when the ball dropped kindly to Davies in the penalty area, following City’s inability to defend a corner, and he was left with the simplest of finishes.
Healy reacted to his team conceding the goal by instructing his players to revert back to their usual 3-5-2 formation, but the change made little impact with Wexford still looking the more assured of the sides 20 minutes into the half.
City almost restored their advantage after Coffey got on the end of Cian Murphy’s pass following some excellent work by the striker but the on-loan Celtic midfielder's effort went agonisingly wide.
Referee: Alan Patchell.[event_performance 116316]