Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
A lack of quality in front of goal meant that Cork City had to settle for a point against Waterford in the Munster derby on Monday night.
The point increases City’s lead at the top of the First Division to four points over Galway United but the Rebel Army will feel that this was an opportunity missed against a Waterford side who had to play over 80 minutes of the game with 10 men.
Following a lot of criticism of their display against Treaty United in their last outing, the City players started the game like players with a point to improve. Colin Healy’s side were purposeful in possession of the ball and pressed intensively without it.
The tempo City played at was at a level that fans at Turners Cross had not seen for sometime and one which Waterford struggled to cope with.
Ruairi Keating tested Paul Martin early on before the Waterford goalkeeper excellently denied Barry Coffey from giving the home side the lead. The former Celtic player perhaps waited too long to get his strike off which allowed Martin to narrow the angle and make the save.
City maintained their impressive start by forcing the visitors to play on the backfoot. Waterford’s task was made even more difficult when Richard Taylor received a straight red for dragging Cian Murphy to the ground with the striker through on goal.
The opportunities kept coming for City with Josh Honohan and Murphy shooting off target. The latter will feel he should have at least tested the keeper with his strike.
City mixed their game up very well. Their short passing was neat and crisp and they weren’t afraid to go long and found a lot of joy from picking up second balls. Keating was causing the Waterford defence all sorts of problems with the visitors struggling to deal with his physical presence.
Despite having a man less and being totally outplayed, Waterford almost went ahead when Roland Idowu produced some quick footwork to create space for himself before unleashing a powerful strike which David Harrington did well to deal with.
City’s opening to the second-half lacked the same intensity they showed in the first and in fact it was Waterford who looked the more promising of the sides early on.
City did start to impose their authority on the game again but were restricted to long-range efforts which were more concerning for those sitting in the upper end of the St Anne’s Stand rather than Martin in the Waterford goal.
Cian Bargary created the first notable chance of the second-half. The City winger danced his way past two challenges before seeing his curling effort go wide of the Waterford goal.
City wastefulness continued in front of goal with both Keating and Coffey guilty of missing opportunities they ought to have scored. Firstly, Keating failed to score from Bargary’s excellent cross into the six-yard box before Coffey then fired over the crossbar from close-range.
There were signs of anxiety and a lack of calmness with City’s finishing. Coffey again missed a glorious chance to give the home side the lead.
The midfielder found himself free within the six-yard penalty but failed to make proper connection with the ball.
Referee: Oliver Moran.