By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Cork City remain second bottom of the First Division after twice surrendering the lead at Turner’s Cross against Treaty United on Friday night.
Cian Murphy and Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh were on the scoresheet for the hosts, while a brace from Kieran Hanlon and a goal from substitute Joe Collins were enough to give Treaty the victory.
City made two changes from the side that were defeated by Shelbourne last week. Dylan McGlade and Alec Byrne came into the starting 11, replacing Dale Holland and Jack Baxter, the latter has returned to his parent club Preston North End after his loan spell had ended.
Treaty, who came in the Munster Derby clash with an injury-hit squad, had some familiar faces in their starting line-up in the form of former Ringmahon Rangers’ player Anthony O’Donnell and former City player Charlie Fleming.
City started on the front foot, with McGlade and Gearoid Morrissey going close inside the opening five minutes.
Colin Healy’s side were controlling the game and created several more chances early on, but Murphy, Darragh Crowley and Steven Beattie were unable to test Treaty goalkeeper Shane Cusack.
In the 17th minute, Treaty took the lead against the run of play. Hanlon converted from the penalty spot after Jonas Hakkinen was judged to have handled the ball while attempting to block a Treaty effort.
City deservedly drew level seven minutes later. Cusack had made a fine save denying Crowley from City’s initial corner, but from the resulting set-piece, Cian Coleman knocked down to O’Brien-Whitmarsh, who fired home from close-range.
The Rebel Army looked threatening from set-plays. Coleman was guilty of missing a golden opportunity to give City the lead from another corner, with the defender missing the target from close-range.
City did take the lead on the stroke of half-time. Murphy found himself one-on-one with Cusack, and the striker calmly finished past the keeper. Murphy had looked sharp throughout the first half and the goal was no more than he deserved. It was more natural for Murphy playing alongside O’Brien-Whitmarsh upfront rather on the wing.
It was a half that would have pleased the City manager. Healy’s side dominated throughout and Treaty rarely troubled the City goal. Although they were outnumbered in the middle of the pitch, Morrissey and Byrne were dictating the game, while McGlade was putting in his best performance in a City shirt this season. Healy’s team were aggressive out of possession and there was a purpose to their game with the ball.
It didn’t take long after the interval for Treaty to level the game, with Hanlon scoring his second penalty of the night two minutes into the second half. This time Gordon Walker was the player guilty of handling the ball inside the City penalty area.
Byrne should have put City back ahead but missed from close range. Coleman and McGlade had further opportunities, but like Byrne, couldn’t hit the target.
Treaty showed more togetherness in the second half and made it a more difficult game for City. Tommy Barrett’s side have been renowned for their work ethic throughout the season and they demonstrated that same work rate in the second half against City.
Treaty’s winning goal came with over 18th minutes remaining when Collins tried his luck from outside the City penalty area, and his shot deflected past McNulty.
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea