By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Late drama at the RSC means that Cork City increased their lead to 10 points at the top of the First Division table after their Munster derby victory over Waterford on Friday night.
It had appeared that City were going to have to settle for a point when Owen Osemi had equalised for the Blues in 90th minute but Ruairi Keating’s injury-time penalty gave City all three points. The victory saw City increase their lead over Galway after the Tribesmen could only manage a 1-1 draw with Cobh Ramblers.
Cian Murphy opened the scoring In a game that won’t be remembered much for the quality. City showed once again maturity in the way they managed the match and produced a professional performance. Not for the first time this season, they defended rigorously throughout and took their opportunity when it came.
City were the better of the teams in the opening stages. The Rebel Army were finding joy with cross-field right-to-left passes with Cian Bargary being the player that saw most of the ball because of the tactic.
As the game aged; Waterford grew into the contest. Phoenix Patterson looked dangerous for the Blues as he produced several excellent crosses into the City penalty area. Fortunately for the league leaders, Ally Gilchrist was always in the right position to clear the danger.
Keating nearly opened the scoring when his cross-come-shot almost snuck in under the crossbar but Paul Martin did enough to keep the ball out of the net.
The first half was one of little goalmouth action with both sides cancelling each other. Both teams enjoyed periods in the half where they were on top in the game but a lack of quality in both final thirds ensured the game remained scoreless at the break.
City were ahead 10 minutes into the second half when Murphy was quickest to react after Martin had spilled an effort allowing the striker to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
The visitors’ task was made easier two minutes later when Tunmise Sobowale was sent-off for a late challenge.
Cian Bargary almost doubled his team’s advantage but was denied by a brilliant stop from Martin. The Waterford keeper managed to get a strong arm to the City player’s effort to prevent his side from going further behind.
Despite having a man less, Waterford created their best moments of the match after Sobwale’s dismissal. The home side came within inches of being levelled only for Wassin Aouachria to see his effort come back off the crossbar.
Uche had thought he had rescued a point for the home side in the last minute but City were awarded a penalty four minutes later which Keating calmly dispatched to earn all three points for the visitors.
Referee: Alan Patchell.