Waterford – Cork City
Report by Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie | Photo: Peadar O’Sullivan
CORK City picked up their first pre-season win as goals from Dylan McGlade, Cian Murphy and Alec Byrne earned victory for Colin Healy’s side at the Regional Sports Centre in Waterford.
Having put in creditable performances in losing to St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, this was further improvement from City. As well as the goalscorers, there were influential displays from George Heaven at centre-back and midfielder Jack Baxter, with City moving the ball well and creating chances of good quality.
While Waterford had the first opportunity – James Waite testing Mark McNulty after City had given away possession cheaply – the visitors soon got on top. Cory Galvin started very brightly and he linked with captain Gearóid Morrissey to give McGlade a chance but Kyle Ferguson got in a good block.
On 14 minutes, Galvin set Cian Bargary – making his first appearance of pre-season – and he shot wide from a narrow-angle but, two minutes later, the same pair combined before Bargary’s cross was won by McGlade, despite being outnumbered. His first effort was stopped by Cameron Evans but he reacted well to get to the loose ball and dink it over former City man Matt Connor in the Waterford goal.
Baxter almost made it 2-0 with a low shot from distance which hit the outside of the post and went wide and, at the other end, when John Martin met a Jack Stafford free-kick, McNulty saved well.
As the first half ended, City went close again, with Cian Coleman heading over from a McGlade corner while the winger also provided a cross for Cian Murphy, who couldn’t keep the ball on target.
It remained 1-0 at half-time and City doubled their lead within six minutes of the restart. After Murphy’s shot was blocked by Evans for a corner, McGlade provided another good delivery to the back post and Murphy converted.
Waterford did offer more in attack during the middle period of the second half as former Ringmahon Rangers man Adam O’Reilly went close with a free-kick, Waite had a shot that grazed the top of the crossbar and then Jack Stafford drew a superb save from McNulty.
They couldn’t dent the City lead though and, with 10 minutes left, substitute Alec Byrne made sure of the win as he drove forward before sending a shot to the top corner from the edge of the Waterford area.
Next week, City travel to face Finn Harps in their final pre-season game before the start of their SSE Airtricity League First Division campaign against Cobh Ramblers at Turner’s Cross on March 26.
Connor (Martin 61); Sobowale, Ferguson, Evans, Stafford; O’Keeffe, Brennan, O’Reilly (Mutswunguma 59), Martin; Kavanagh, Waite (Phelan 69).
McNulty; Walker (Beattie 61), Coleman (Desmond 86), Heaven (Kargbo 83), Hurley; Morrissey (Holland 76), Baxter (O’Brien-Whitmarsh 83), Galvin (Byrne 61); McGlade (Crowley 76), Murphy (Walsh 83), Bargary (Wynne 86).
G Kelly (Cork).