Match Reports

Match Report: Kerry 0-1 Cork City

Match Report: Kerry 0-1 Cork City

Cork City claimed a narrow victory over Kerry FC in their maiden visit to Mounthawk Park on Friday night after a very entertaining game of football.

Tim Clancy made two changes to the starting eleven on City’s first ever visit to Mounthawk Park, as Barry Coffey returned to the lineup replacing Nathan Wood, and young prodigy Jaden Umeh returned to the lineup replacing Cian Bargary. Earlier in the week, it was announced that Arran Healy signed his first professional contract with the club, and he returned to the bench for the first time since early March.

Kerry FC manager Conor McCarthy made three changes after a 2–0 away loss to Bray Wanderers in their previous fixture, centre-back Samuel Aladesanusi replaced Ethan Kos, attacker Daniel Okwute entered in place of Kennedy Amechi, and Kerry’s top scorer Ryan Kelliher returned instead of Victor Udeze.

The game was a complete sell out, as City brought a travelling support three hundred and fifty strong, as they were also treated to seeing the lovely purple away kit in action for the first time.

City were awarded a penalty inside ten minutes after a handball in the box from Kerry defender Kevin Williams, which Evan McLaughlin coolly converted down the middle to hand City an early lead.

Jaden Umeh could’ve doubled City’s lead, as he took advantage of a mistake from Kerry captain Andy Spain to then beat the oncoming Kerry goalkeeper but made an unfortunate mess of the finish, as he knocked the bouncing ball wide.

There was a huge sense of the traditional Cork and Kerry rivalry in the ground, and the intensity on the pitch was hectic in the first half. Both teams conceded numerous fouls and yellow cards were shown to Kerry’s Daire McCarthy and City’s Josh Fitzpatrick and Greg Bolger.

City held on to preserve their 1–0 lead into the break, but Kerry certainly held their own in the first forty-five and were well up for the fixture, displaying very competitive football at times.

Both teams made a substitution at the start of the second half, as City attacker Fitzpatrick was replaced by Cian Bargary, and Kerry brought on former Cork City academy player Evison Rramani in place of Ronan Teahan.

Jaden Umeh had another chance in the 52nd minute, as he launched a powerful shot inside the box while surrounded by Kerry defenders, but his shot bounced down off the crossbar and was claimed by keeper Antonio Tuta.

Just a few minutes later Tuta followed up with a brilliant save to deny Cathal O’Sullivan’s shot from outside the box, making a big dive to touch the ball onto the post and away from danger.

Kerry fans were certain they had a penalty of their own past the hour mark, as Daniel Okwute made a run into the box and tumbled to the ground as he encountered Cian Coleman. The referee’s whistle signaled a free kick to City however, and Okwute was booked for a dive. Okwute and the home support alike were furious at the decision, but the replays proved the referee made the correct call.

Kerry carried big momentum following Okwute’s theatrics, as they had multiple attacking chances that were defended well by City’s backline.

Shortly after, youngster Arran Healy made his first appearance since signing his first pro contract with City, as he was introduced to the game replacing the carded Greg Bolger.

Kerry searched frantically for a late equaliser in the last ten minutes, and in the dying embers the Kingdom were awarded a corner, which they couldn’t convert.

Cork City withstood the late pressure and defended every chance well to see out the game and come away with a 1–0 victory. Kerry played a great game and challenged City for the entire ninety minutes and didn’t make anything easy for the visitors. City’s quality and solidity made the difference in the end though, as they never buckled under the immense late pressure and kept it all clean at the back to keep a tenth clean sheet in thirteen games.

The win for City extends the league unbeaten streak to thirteen games and maintain a seven point cushion at the top of the table.

City’s next fixture sees an exciting return back home to Turners Cross on Bank Holiday Monday to face Wexford FC, whilst Kerry are on the road on the same day, travelling to Longford. Both games kick-off at an earlier time of 5PM.

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