Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
A late, late Andrew Quinn goal denied Cork City their first record their first home victory in over two months, as Colin Healy’s men threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Bray Wanderers in the First Division at Turner’s Cross.
The scoreline was harsh on City who had been the better team.
Despite suffering defeat against Treaty United in their last outing, City named the same eleven that lost to the Limerick outfit. They were however, two notable names added to City’s matchday squad, with Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Cathal Heffernan, both of whom are just 16, making the bench.
City began on the front foot, taking the lead within five minutes. Bray were unable to clear from a City free-kick, and Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh squared to his striking partner Cian Murphy, who poked home from close range. The goal was Murphy’s fourth of the season.
City’s strikers were causing the Bray defence a lot of problems, and O-Brien-Whitmarsh was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet moments later, but was denied by Brian Maher, who was quick off his line to tighten the City striker’s angle.
After a sluggish start, Bray grew into the game and started to make their mark on the contest.
City goalkeeper Mark McNulty was called into action after 19th minutes, parrying Darren Craven effort, and the follow-up was excellently defended by Steven Beattie, whose challenge prevented Bray from equalising.
The City keeper came to his side’s rescue moments later, this time denying Dylan Barnett. Brandon Kavanagh came closer to scoring for the visitors but his effort drifted just wide of the post.
Bray were sloppy in possession at times and almost gifted City a second goal. Gearoid Morrissey intercepted a lazy pass but could not beat Maher in the Bray goal. O’Brien-Whitmarsh was quickest to react to the goalkeeper’s save, but his effort was blocked by Aaron Barry on the Bray goalline.
City were creating the best chances and will wonder how they didn’t go further ahead after O’Brien-Whitmarsh was twice guilty of missing golden opportunities.
Dylan McGlade was next to bring the best out of the Bray goalkeeper. Maher somehow managed to tip the City player’s free-kick over the crossbar, after it had looked destined to end up in the back of the net.
It was a half in which City dominated, and will wonder how they were only leading 1-0 going in at the break. Bray struggled to deal with the pace in the City side, and apart from a five-minute spell, did not look like a side that were nine points ahead of City before the game. The Seagulls could not live with the intensity of City’s game. The only complaint Healy would have had of his players would have been their poor finishing.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh’s frustrating evening continued early in the second half, with the striker wasteful in front of goal. The striker was doing everything right in the game but luck was not on his side when it came to finding the back of the net.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh, turned provider again, for City’s second goal, after his cross found the head of Murphy, who made no mistake from close range.
City should have had a penalty when McGlade went down under a challenge, but referee Paul McLaughlin, who was in good position, deemed the City player to have gone to ground too easily.
Bray got a lifeline back into the game when Craven scored to make it a nervy ending for the hosts.
There was more heartache to follow for City as their conceded in injury time when Quinn levelled the game.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin