By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Cork City made it three wins in a row for the first time in three years after a terrific display away to Treaty United in the First Division on Friday.
Success in the Munster derby at Markets Field meant bridged a gap to March 2019 for three victories on the bounce, as the Rebel Army ended a busy eight days with eight goals scored, none conceded and nine points in the bag. It's quite a turnaround from a mixed start to the campaign, when a trouncing of Bray Wanderers was followed by a home loss to Galway and then a stalemate at Longford.
Manager Colin Healy made a welcome return to the dugout after his leave of absence and he would have been pleased by his side’s professional performance. A brace from Cian Bargary, as well as goals from Barry Coffey and Jonas Hakkinen did the damage.
It was a mature display as they controlled the game throughout and never looked in danger of letting their lead slip once they went ahead.
Before kick-off, much had been made of the playing surface at Markets Field but City seemed to get to grips with the difficult conditions early on, and Coffey had his team ahead inside three minutes. The midfielder collected the ball from just outside the edge of the Treaty penalty area and was encouraged by the lack of pressure from the Treaty players to carry the ball into the box, where he sent a curling left-footed effort beyond the reach of Jack Brady to give City the perfect start.
The poor playing surface was noticeable throughout with the ball tending to bobble with every pass on the deck. City were finding the right balance between going more direct and trying to play the ball through the thirds.
Coffey was proving to be a constant thorn in the Limerick outfit's side. The Celtic loanee was clever in his positional play with the Treaty players unable to pick him up. He found himself in space in the 15th minute but this time was denied by a smart save from Brady.
City were dominant midway through the first half and forced Treaty into defending a number of set-pieces. Bargary almost got on the scoresheet from a well-worked corner but was unable to hit the target.
However, the Tipperary native didn’t have to wait long to get his goal. There was a sense of deja vu with the Treaty players standing off Bargary, inviting him to shoot. The winger accepted and sent a bullet shot into the roof of the Treaty net.
City were three up in the 35th minute after more poor defending. Cian Murphy sent a ball across the box, and after an initial poor touch from Bargary, he reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball to poke it past Brady after a Treaty defender had kicked the ball off of the City player.
Although he had little to do throughout the first half, David Harrington showed his worth to the side five minutes before the interval when the goalkeeper got down quickly to make a smart save to deny Dean George.
Treaty almost managed to reduce the deficit before halftime when Marc Ludden’s long throw-in came off the head of Hakkinen but much to the relief of the City player the ball came back off the post.
Harrington was called into action six minutes into the second half when Joel Coustrain managed to get a shot off but the keeper made light work of the former City player’s strike.
Although Treaty showed more promise, City looked comfortable dealing with any questions asked by Treaty.
Darragh Crowley could have added to his side’s advantage but could not find a way past Bradly who was quickly off his line to prevent the City player.
Hakkinen did get his team’s fourth with 10 minutes remaining when he was quickest to capitalise on Brady’s error and was left with the simplest of finishes from close-range.
Referee: Alan Patchell.[event_performance 116422]