09 August 2008

Cork City v Bohemians Match Report

Here's my match report for ExtraTime.ie

Original article here

A classic smash-and-grab raid at Turner’s Cross saw league leaders Bohemians move a step closer to securing their first title since the advent of summer football. With the hosts having battered the visitors for much of preceding 75 minutes, Cork’s supporters were left stunned by Glen Crowe’s cool finish.

It could easily have been very different, for the hosts unleashed a hurricane upon Bohemians in the opening 45 minutes. Within 20 seconds, Dave Mooney managed to get on the end of Denis Behan’s knock-down, forcing Bohs custodian Brian Murphy into a full-stretch save.

Two minutes later, after a clearance ricocheted back towards the danger zone, Mooney charged down Brian Murphy’s attempt to clear and again the Bohemians keeper was forced to make a sharp intervention to deny Denis Behan. The ball again broke to the burly Cork centre forward, but his failure to react quickly enough gave the besieged visiting defence some welcome respite.

City kept up the pressure, willed on by a crowd numbering close to 4,300. On 20 minutes, and as the ball fizzed around the Bohemians area, captain Dan Murray headed narrowly over from Danny Murphy’s cross.

Liam Kearney was popping up everywhere for City, cutting inside at will to test the visitors’ ponderous central defence. Their hesitancy in that area was badly exposed by the winger on 34 minutes, when his through ball found Dave Mooney. The former Longford man slipped a low shot past the advancing keeper, but Anthony Murphy intervened at the crucial moment to prevent the striker’s effort from crossing the line. Following the resultant corner kick, Colin Healy struck a powerful volley over the bar.

A further scare when Brian Murphy cleared a hospital pass from Thomas Heary just in time to deny Behan left the Bohs keeper in need of attention from the physio, and a few minutes later his own erratic clearance spread further panic amongst his defenders. Clearly, the half-time whistle couldn’t come a moment too soon for the visiting side.

Regardless of what Pat Fenlon said to his charges at half-time, it was again City who opened the half with more purpose. Behan had a volley saved, and Joe Gamble had a shot blocked down before the home side had their first real scare of the match. A ball from Mark Rossiter caught Liam Kearney in two minds and he almost turned a header into his own goal. Bohs failed to capitalise on this rare foray forward though, as Devine pushed Killian Brennan’s corner kick clear with ease.

But Bohemians were slowly beginning to get a grip on the game, and began to pose an increasing threat on the break. On 57 minutes, Neale Fenn made a clever run to collect a ball over the top from Jason Byrne. The former City favourite drew a fine reflex save from Devine before Murray turned the ball behind for a corner. A minute later, Fenn played a cross to the back post which Brennan headed over uncontested from the 6 yard line.

By now Cork were lacking the incisiveness that had characterised their earlier play, and manager Alan Matthews made a bold call when hauling off Darren Murphy for John O’Flynn in 67 minutes. Just as they seemed to be regaining their gusto, disaster struck. Colin Healy’s late tackle on the recently introduced John Paul Kelly almost resulted in some ugly scenes, with the visitors incensed by the challenge. Tempers had barely cooled when Anthony Murphy’s free-kick found the home defence napping. Killian Brennan headed the ball to find an unmarked Glen Crowe, who lifted the past Devine to the disbelief of the home support.

With the home side already flagging, Matthews introduced new signing Lawrie Dudfield for Liam Kearney. But Cork never looked like recovering from Crowe’s body blow as Fenlon’s side coasted home to what may well prove an invaluable three points in their title quest.

Cork City (4-4-2) Michael Devine; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Pat Sullivan, Danny Murphy; Liam Kearney, Joe Gamble, Colin Healy, Darren Murphy; Dave Mooney, Denis Behan.
Subs: John O’Flynn for Behan (67 mins); Lawrie Dudfield for Kearney (83 mins).
Not used: Darragh Ryan, Cillian Lordan, Mark McNulty.
Booked: Colin Healy (75 mins).

Bohemians (4-4-2) Brian Murphy; Mark Rossiter, Thomas Heary, Owen Heary, Anthony Murphy; Killian Brennan, Stephen O’Donnell, Gary Deegan, Jason Byrne; Neale Fenn, Glen Crowe.
Subs: John Paul Kelly for Fenn (70 mins); Mindaugas Kalonas for Byrne (84 mins).
Not used: Chris Konopka, Conor Powell, Sean Byrne.
Booked: Killian Brennan (37 mins); Stephen O’Donnell (78 mins).
Goals: Glen Crowe (76 mins).

Referee: Ian Stokes.
Man of the match: Brian Murphy.

Pics nicked off CorkCityFC.ie

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