21 June 2008

Cork City v Cobh Ramblers Match Report

Here's my match report for ExtraTime.ie

Cork City romped home to a 5-0 victory over local rivals Cobh Ramblers on a fine June evening at Turner’s Cross, with Sunderland boss Roy Keane amongst the 3,900 in attendance. Braces for Liam Kearney and top scorer Dave Mooney followed John O’Flynn’s 24th minute opener, with the home side barely having to get out of second gear in a match which they controlled from start to finish in the absence of suspended midfielder George O’Callaghan.

The Leesiders’ only real scare came during the scrappy opening minutes. Gavin O’Neill tapped the ball home for the visitors, but Brian McCarthy was adjudged to have pushed City captain Dan Murray from the preceding corner.

In truth, it was poor fare throughout the first half, with City dominating the territory without creating too many clear-cut openings. The opener came after a fine ball played in from the right by Joe Gamble, with John O’Flynn hitting a first time effort to beat James McCarthy at his far post. Just minutes later, Dave Mooney came close as he stretched to meet a Darren Murphy cross.

In the 35th minute, City were denied what seemed a clear penalty, with Liam Kearney bundled to the ground inside the area. The referee was unimpressed however, and booked the winger for protesting.

With the game petering out five minutes before the interval, Dave Mooney burst into the area, jinking past two defenders before slotting home after being played through by the irrepressible Kearney.

City opened the second half playing with greater tempo and purpose. On 52 minutes, Darren Murphy’s header was cleared off the line by Ramblers’ Captain Alan Carey. It was during this period of sustained pressure that the hosts made the game safe. Just two minutes later, Liam Kearney got on the end of a through pass as the keeper charged out, and despite a clumsy first touch still had the presence of mind to slot the ball home cooly from the left hand side of the goal.

Oddly, going a third goal down seemed to liberate the visitors somewhat, as they began the push more men forward in search of a consolation strike. Mulconroy was replaced by Conor Meade, and Gareth Cambridge came on for Alan Kearney, but City clearly had the wind in their sails and began to pick holes in the visiting defence. Gamble played Mooney through on 63 minutes, and the former Longford man produced a smart finish only to have the goal disallowed for offside.

It was a poor decision from the linesman, but the vibrant home support didn’t have to wait too long for number four. With 67 minutes on the clock, a clever ball dinked over the top by Kearney had Mooney through on keeper. Having looked to have taken the ball too far wide, he blasted home from the left with the defence haring back to take his tally for the season to 11 in all competitions.

Now looking for his hat-trick, Mooney blasted a long range effort over the bar three minutes later. Cillian Lordan replaced Neal Horgan, and Joe Gamble picked up a yellow card for a stiff tackle on John Kearney, which means he now faces further suspension. Mooney came close again with thirteen minutes remaining, putting the ball wide of the near post after an excellent ball from John O’Flynn.

Mooney turned provider on 85 minutes, cutting the ball back from the right for onrushing Liam Kearney to complete Ramblers’ misery. The result leaves goal-shy Cobh mired in the lower reaches of the table, but for the hosts the season is beginning to look more positive as they now lie seven points off the top of the table.

Cork City (4-4-2): Michael Devine; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Pat Sullivan, Danny Murphy; Liam Kearney, Colin Healy, Joe Gamble, Darren Murphy; John O’Flynn, Dave Mooney.

Subs: Cillian Lordan for Neal Horgan (73 mins); Dave Meyler for Darren Murphy (81 mins); Denis Behan for John O’Flynn (86 mins).

Not used: Mark McNulty, Alan O’Connor.

Booked: Liam Kearney (35 mins); Joe Gamble (76 mins)

Goals: O’Flynn (24), Kearney (40, 54), Mooney (40, 67)

Cobh Ramblers (4-5-1) James McCarthy; Alan Carey, Johnny Meade, Brian McCarthy, Shane Guthrie, Davin O’Neill, Michael Mulconroy, Mikey O’Shea, John Kearney, Alan Kearney, Gareth Cummins

Subs: Conor Meade for Michael Mulconroy (50 minutes), Gareth Cambridge for Alan Kearney (64 minutes).

Not used: Kenny Coleman, Shane Barrett, Ray Lally.

Booked: John Kearny (9 mins)

Referee: A Kelly

Man of the match: Dave Mooney

(Photo shamelessly thieved from RTE)

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