Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Ten-man Cork City dug deep to secure an away point against bottom side Wexford FC in their First Division clash at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.
Colin Healy’s side had to play the majority of the game with a man less after Alec Byrne was sent off late in the first half for a second yellow.
The draw was a fair result on reflection of the game with Wexford creating little with the man advantage.
City made one change from the side that conceded a late equaliser against Bray Wanderers last weekend, with Ronan Hurley coming into the team to replace Gordon Walker, while academy graduate Sean McGrath, made his debut in the City matchday squad.
City begun the better of the two teams and were looking to utilize the pace of Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Cian Murphy. The dry pitch made it difficult for City to move the ball quickly along the surface and they opted to try and get their strikers in behind the Wexford defence more directly rather than play through the thirds.
Hurley had his sides first chance of the game but was unable to make a proper connection with his effort.
As the half grew, City became more accustom to the conditions and started to control proceedings. Darragh Crowley was next to try his luck but headed over from 8 yards.
Wexford looked to catch City on the counter-attack. One of Wexford’s better players Jack Doherty, was causing the City defence problems and saw an effort sail over the City crossbar.
City survived a scare when a Jack Moylan free-kick deflected off Steven Beattie, only for the ball to go over the City crossbar, much to the relief of the City players.
The heat was playing its part in the game as both sides seemed to be conserving energy, and understandable, the tempo of the game was not the same as we have seen in City matches over the past several weeks.
Hurley should have given his side the lead but narrowly missed that target after the ball had fallen kindly to him from a City corner.
The first effort on target came on the half hour mark courtesy of Conor Crowley, which was comfortably dealt with by Mark McNulty in the City goal.
After scoring 4 goals in his last three games leading into the match, Murphy was keen to get add to the tally, but his speculative effort was saved.
Wexford finished the half the stronger of the sides with McNulty twice denying Karl Fitzsimmons.
The main talking point of the half came on the stroke of half-time. City’s Byrne was given his marching orders for a second yellow and the midfielder can have little complaints about the decision after his two needless challenges.
City started the second half with a purpose but it was Wexford that had the opening chance, with Moylan coming close to opening the scoring.
The man advantage was staring to show and Wexford begun to push City back, forcing Healy’s team to defend deeper.
In O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Murphy, City have two strikers on form. The two combined early in the half only for Murphy to steer his effort wide.
Although City had a man less, they still looked dangerous going forward, with Dylan McGlade looking the most likely to create a chance.
Wexford continued to threaten but City were dealing with any danger Ian Ryan’s side posed.
The point was enough to see City leapfrog Cobh Ramblers in the league table.
City are on the road again next weekend, where they will begin their 2021 FAI Cup campaign against Sligo Rovers.
Referee: Mark Moynihan.[event_performance 110745]