By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie | Photo: Peadar O'Sullivan
There was a sense of deja vu as Josh Honohan’s goal was enough to give Cork City victory over Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park in the First Division on Friday night.
The game was similar to the team’s meeting earlier in the season at the same venue, with City taking an early lead and Wexford dominating the rest of the encounter without finding an equaliser.
City started brightly and were finding joy from cross-field passes to Darragh Crowley, who had a promising beginning after being restored to the starting line-up.
The Rebel Army made their impressive start count when Honohan gave the visitors the lead inside five minutes. The defender’s towering header from a City corner left Alex Moody little chance in the Wexford goal.
City should have doubled their lead but Ruairi Keating was unable to add to his eight league goals this season. The striker found himself unmarked just outside the six-yard area but failed to direct his header beyond Moody.
Wexford settled into the game and began to threaten more. The home side somehow failed to score from close-range after a goalmouth scramble. There were claims from the Wexford players that Honohan had handled the ball in that scramble but their appeals were waved away by the referee.
Both sides were creating chances throughout the half. Conor Crowley twice tried his luck at goal for the home side, while Keating looked the most likely to increase City’s advantage.
Wexford came into the match on a seven-game unbeaten run and it was clear to see why from some of their play in the first half. Ryan’s side were very comfortable on the ball and controlled the majority of possession. Aaron Dobbs tested David Harrington but the City keeper was equal to the headed effort.
City were stubborn in defence and limited Wexford to half-chances despite the home side having most of the ball.
Colin Healy’s side resorted to a lot of direct balls without troubling the Wexford defence. Keating and Cian Murphy endured a frustrating half with very little quality service.
After an excellent start to the game, the early goal seemed to have made the City players more cautious in offence in fear of leaving spaces in defence.
Players like James Doona and Barry Coffey were having little impact in the match. Cian Coleman, Jonas Hakkinen and Honohan were superb in defence and were one of the main reasons why City still remained ahead at half-time.
The beginning of the second half replicated the end of the first with Wexford looking the better of the sides. The home side were purposeful with their passing and were aggressive in the press out of possession.
What could not be argued about the City players was the exceptional work-rate of each individual. The players were running tirelessly for one another to make sure that they maintained their lead.
Aaron Bolger did have Healy’s side's first effort of the second half but shot straight at Moody. The former Shamrock Rovers player almost produced a moment of brilliance minutes later. He danced his way through several challenges from the Wexford players before trying an audacious chip but unfortunately for Bolger, his effort went into the hands of Moody.
The City manager made a double switch by bringing Dylan McGlade and Cian Bargary to try and change the proceeding of the match but it was that Wexford remained in charge of possession. However, for all of their dominance of the ball, they weren’t troubling Harrington in the City goal.
Wexford came close to levelling only for Cian Coleman to clear off the line.
Ryan’s side were finding a lot of joy down the right-hand side of City which coincided with the introduction of Adam Wells. The on-loan Shamrock Rovers man was positive with his positioning and forced the City player’s back.
Dobbs had Wexford’s final chance but Harrington was able to tip his effort over the crossbar.
Referee: Gavin Colfer.[event_performance 116351]