Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Cork City served up a treat for the 900 supporters back in Turners Cross for the derby win over Cobh Ramblers in the First Division on Friday night.
City’s victory saw them go above Cobh in the league and also record back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
A brace from Barry Coffey, and goals from Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh, and Cian Murphy gave the Rebel Army a deserved victory in front of their biggest home crowd in over 17 months. City were not at their best in the first 45 minutes but they completely dominated the second half.
Unsurprisingly, Colin Healy named the same starting 11 that successfully defeated Galway United last week. City were boosted by the return of Steven Beattie to the matchday squad after missing the previous two games through injury.
City didn’t have to wait long to give their fans something to sing about. With only seven minutes on the clock, O’Brien-Whitmarsh found himself through on goal after getting on the end of a Ronan Hurley clearance, and the City striker calmly chipped the ball over the on-rushing Sean Barron. It was not a goal that Barron will want to look back on after the goalkeepers’ hesitation allowed O’Brien-Whitmarsh to give City the lead.
Alex Byrne should have doubled his side’s advantage moments later but was unable to hit the target after finding himself one-on-one with Barron.
Former City player Pierce Phillips almost had Ramblers back level but he was unfortunate to see his effort come back off the City crossbar.
Cobh’s defence were struggling to deal with O’Brien-Whitmarsh and the striker will be disappointed not to have had his second goal just before the half an hour mark after he managed to get on the end of Byrne’s excellent cross but could not direct his header on target.
Ciaran Griffin, who had scored against City on the opening day of the season, tested Mark McNulty five minutes before the interval. The striker turned smartly on the edge of the City penalty area, but his strike was not enough to beat McNulty.
After starting the half brightly, City would have been happy to hear the referee blow his whistle for half-time. City looked nervous in the final few minutes of the half. It’s was not the type of performance we are used to seeing from Healy’s side this season.
They didn’t control as much possession as they have in previous games and were happy to play percentages, by going more direct to their strikers. Although they were hanging on towards the end of the half, City would still have been disappointed not to have scored at least another goal in the half.
Cian Coleman came within inches of scoring after the interval but headed wide from a Dylan McGlade cross.
City did double their advantage in the 56th minute through recent signing Coffey. The on-loan Celtic midfielder was first to react after Barron had denied McGlade, and Coffey was left with the simplest of finishes.
Things got better for City three minutes later. Murphy picked the ball up 30 yards from Cobh’s goal, knocked it past Nathan Coleman and neatly finished across Barron.
Coffey got his second of the night with five minutes remaining in the game when he drove the ball low beyond Barron.
Referee: Oliver Moran