By Aaron Casey
Cork City 2-0 Bohemians
Bohemians were Cork City’s guests in the opening game of the SSE Airtricity League under the Turners Cross’ floodlights tonight. City started in the same vein as their comprehensive President’s Cup win over Dundalk last week; Seán Maguire latching onto a header, shipping a tackle and impressively managing to stay on his feet, before unleashing a vicious left-legged shot which flew past away keeper Dean Delaney’s far post.
This was the most promising chance in a first-half starved of drama. The Bohs defence coping comfortably with a City team who had the most of the possession in the opening period. Gearóid Morrissey and Greg Bolger both gave City a good platform in the centre of the field, but they couldn’t couple together any decent chances. The flanks held no joy for City either on a cold night on Leeside. Maguire was energetic up front but too many times he was left chasing through balls away from the danger areas.
The second-half was a different story however as City attacked with pomp and the defensive solidity of the Dublin side faded away rapidly. The impetus for the change occurred early on after the game resumed when, in almost replication of City’s second goal last Saturday, Eoghan O’Connell crossed from the right. It was a looping effort that deceived the Bohs defence, Seán Maguire pranced onto it at just the last second and put the ball in past the near post – 1-0 City. The O’Connell-Maguire combination striking again.
Bohs offered no signs of recovery; a second goal was always going to secure the three points. And arrive it did; another Maguire gamble succeeded as he ghosted behind the Bohs’ defence and struck a right-legged shot across goal and into the bottom left corner. Game over.
There was no counter punch from the opposition as they could not breach the immovable Kenny Browne and Alan Bennett in the centre of the City defence. Bohs’ furrow was lonesomely ploughed by Ismahil Akinade, the former Bray man not getting a sniff of the net all night.
At the other end of the field Seán Maguire had a pep in each step as he kept on running. With three goals in two games he’s had an ideal start to his Cork City career, even though he’d have loved to have notched a third and complete his hat-trick.
An ideal start has also been had by Eoghan O’Connell. After only two outings at Turners Cross City fans know how much they’ll miss him when his loan deal runs out.
Bohs’ boss Keith Long will be disappointed with his defence’s seeming inability to judge and deal with dangerous balls. Though the gypsie’s rear-guard did have to cope with a multi-pronged Cork City attack which the league champions Dundalk struggled to deal with six days ago.
With the contest petering out Bohemians’ Roberto Lopes saw the line after a second yellow, following a needless tackle. It was the salt and pepper in the wounds of a loss caused by a tactless second half defensive performance.
Just like the President’s Cup game, possession was firmly at the feet of City. There’s a nice balance of style and substance across the team, even the ball-players like Gearóid Morrissey showed a tenacity to win the 50-50 challenges.
John Caulfield will be happy with the dominance his side showed, a title challenge the least the City faithful expect this season. Bohs’ captain Derek Pender spoke in the match programme about making Europe and maybe snagging a cup. They’ll have to better what they produced tonight if they intend to rattle the teams vying for the title. And based on this performance Cork City will be one of those teams.