23 August 2008

Cork City v Bray Wanderers Match Report (22/08/08)

Here's my match report for ExtraTime.ie

Original article here

On an emotional night at Turner’s Cross, the home side’s dismantling of Bray Wanderers seemed a mere side-show to the 3,800 strong home support’s show of defiance amidst Cork’s mounting financial problems. Shorn of their leading goal-scorer, City made light of Dave Mooney’s €250,000 move to Championship side Reading as they romped home to a three nil victory against Eddie Gormley’s side.

The atmosphere was more that of a vigil than a game of football with the chant “we’re in the wrong hands” reverberating around the ground for much of the second half. Lest their message be unclear, the hardcore shed support unfurled a banner which read “Arkaga Rot In Hell”.

Official man of the match Denis Behan stepped in to fill a Dave Mooney sized gap in the home attack, scoring twice and creating another, as well as rattling the woodwork. But it was Joe Gamble, recently retained despite the interest of St Patrick’s Athletic, who stole the show with a typically gutsy performance, capped off by a very untypical goal.

The former Reading man opened the scoring in the 15th minute, lifting the ball over the onrushing Alan Gough after a back post flick-on by Behan from Pat Sullivan’s cross.

In truth, it was a lacklustre opening period. City controlled proceedings without ever creating too many genuine openings. Bray were game as they sought to to play on the counter, but their neat triangular passing floundered whenever they reached the final third.

It was Behan who came closest to extending the home side’s lead on 31 minutes. Having collected a sensational Liam Kearney ball from deep in City’s own half, he cut inside the defence before slamming the ball against the bar.

Immediately after the interval, City came close as Gough pushed a Colin Healy free-kick into the path on Lawrie Dudfield. Unfortunately for home side, the recent recruit from Notts County couldn’t turn the ball home under pressure from the visiting defence.

Dudfield was desperately unlucky in the 66th minute with a diving header from Cillian Lordan’s cross, drawing a fine reflex save from Gough. Five minutes later, he header narrowly wide from a Danny Murphy corner.

With 76 minutes played and the Cork crowd’s protest now in full voice, City struck again. Danny Murphy swung an inch-perfect cross in from the left wing, and Denis Behan powered an unstoppable header past Gough at the far post.

Bray introduced Andy Myler and Gareth Coughlan for Aidan O’Keefe and Colm Tresson at the restart, but 5 minutes later the game was ended as a contest. Cork won a free-kick on the edge of the Bray area, and Danny Murphy’s effort was adjudged to have been handled by the referee. Denis Behan stepped up and slipped the ball home confidently to make it 3-0. An already standing crowd offered Dudfield a standing ovation as he left the fray to make way for John O’Flynn.

As the game wore on Cork toyed with the visitors, and Behan came close to completing his hat-trick in added time, shooting narrowly over as he burst into the area.

A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the very existence of Alan Matthews side. At the full-time whistle, the home players lingered to pay their respects to home followers in a poignant display of solidarity. Some ten minutes later, the banners began to fall as the home support filed disconsolately out of the ground, which speculation rife as to what the future may hold for Leeside club.

Cork City (4-4-2) Michael Devine; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Pat Sullivan, Danny Murphy; Liam Kearney, Joe Gamble, Colin Healy, Cillian Lordan; Lawrie Dudfield, Denis Behan.
Subs: John O’Flynn for Dudfield (83 mins); Darren Murphy for Healy (85 mins); Darragh Ryan for Kearney (89 mins),
Not used: Mark McNulty, Sean Kelly.
Booked: Danny Murphy (57 mins); Pat Sullivan (58 mins); Dan Murray (68 mins).
Goals: Gamble (15 mins); Behan (76 mins; 81 mins, pen).

Bray Wanderers (4-4-2) Alan Gough; Derek Pender, Derek Foran, Colm Tresson, Gary Cronin; Gavin Whelan, Daryl Robson, Mark Duggan, Paddy Kavanagh; Ger Rowe, Aidan O’Keefe.
Subs: Jake Kelly for Tresson (76 mins); Gareth Coughlan for Aidan O’Keefe (76 mins); Andy Myler for Ger Rowe (89 mins).
Not used: Gabriel Sava, David Webster.
Booked: Derek Foran (81 mins).
Referee: M. Gough.

Official man of the match: Denis Behan.
Extratime’s man of the match: Joe Gamble.

Pics nicked from CorkCityFC.ie

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