Writes Jack Maguire
Friday night last saw Cork City FC earn their first three points of the season with a 1-0 win at home to Finn Harps. A crowd of 2367 witnessed a fighting performance from Neale Fenn’s men who came away with a well-deserved victory. Conditions were terrible with strong wind and torrential rain affecting play and limiting the teams free flowing play. Fenn named an unchanged squad from the team that played Shamrock Rovers the previous Friday with Finn Harps boasting their new signing, striker Alexander Kogler. There were no real chances in the opening stages of the game as both sides tested the opposition and experimented with the forces of nature. Around the half an hour mark, a low cross into the box towards Alex Kogler looked like a certain goal but the Austrian striker lost his footing and the sides remained level. The sides were relatively even throughout the first half with both teams having half chances cleared away. It was just on the brink of half time when the drama kicked off at The Cross. A shot at Liam Bossin was spilled by the Cork City goalkeeper, and as he dived to reclaim the ball, Alex Kogler slid into Bossin knocking him out, while also knocking the ball past him and netting to give the visitors the lead. There were furious protests from both the City Players and fans while the medics came to Bossin’s aid. The young goalkeeper had to be stretchered from the field, and after deliberating with his linesmen, referee Neil Doyle overturned the decision and disallowed the goal which was met with delight from City supporters. As soon as the second half began, City found their motion and went straight on the attack, with Deshane Dalling finding space on the edge of the box and unleashing a powerful shot which just fizzed wide of the post. On 54 minutes, Cork Native Alec Byrne put the Rebel Army in front with a fantastic header from a corner, beating Harps keeper McGinley to the ball. City thought they had doubled their lead 5 minutes later when a Dalling shot rebounded off the post and into the path of Daire O’Connor who found the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside. 10 minutes later, it looked like Harps had equalised only for Joe Redmond to come to the rescue and clear the ball off the line. Joseph Olowu, Deshane Dalling and Ollie Horgan all received bookings in the second half. Finn Harps put the pressure on Cork in the late stages of the game with several dangerous crosses but the Leesiders held on for what was a fantastic victory. A win that the Cork City fans had been waiting for, and it did not disappoint. Neale Fenn was happy with his sides showing “A bit of a relief, it’s got the monkey off our back of obviously not scoring or not winning. It was a good performance in the second half, on balance we probably deserved it on the second half performance”. Alec Byrne who scored his third goal for the senior squad was delighted to get the result and looking forward to the next challenge. “Good to get the first three points under the belt, go again next week, big performance. We knew ourselves the first half wasn’t good enough, we could probably blame the conditions, but plenty to improve on”. Cork City travel to Richmond Park on Friday night to take on St Patricks Athletic where they will hope to keep their good form going.