A great first home win of the season tonight in Turner’s Cross against an in-form Bohemians side.
Goals in either half from Conor McCarthy and Dan Casey was enough to see John Caulfield’s men record back to back wins and move up to fourth in the league table.
On a miserable night for football with the wind howling all evening and the rain pouring heavily, City played well at times, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Let’s start with the positives. City scored their first two home goals of the season, could’ve been three with Graham Cummins very unlucky to have his header ruled offside. And at times, they tried to play good football. The performance of the midfield trio was another positive. Conor McCormack got man of the match but Gearoid Morrissey and Garry Buckley were also excellent. The performance of Daire O’Connor while he was on the pitch was another positive. He looks a good player, great with the ball at his feet, he excites the crowd and was unlucky not to score when his goal-bound shot brought a great save from James Talbot.
Graham Cummins also played very well last night. While his job is a thankless one, chancing high balls all night, he never complains and just gets on with it. He is a very selfless player and he could have had a second goal in a week when his powerful header to the roof of the net was ruled offside. I was delighted to see him play the full 90 minutes as he usually gets whipped off with 10 minutes to go. Despite this ben a great win and one that was badly needed in front of the Cork public, there are still lots of area for concern on the pitch.
Defensively, City were all over the place, particularly so in the early minutes of the first half. Last week against Finn Harps, they were very loose in their marking and conceded three times and they could have done the same on Friday night if Bohs and in particular if Danny Mandriou had brought his shooting boots. He missed three great scoring chances early on and so wild was his finishing that he didn’t even force McNulty into a save which was the minimum he should have done.
I know it’s not City’s first choice back four. They were sitting behind me in the press box and I’d imagine that once Sean McLoughlin and Alan Bennett are fit, one of them, probably McLoughlin, will partner Dan Casey at centre back. That said, City’s defending needs to improve because if this continues, they will be punished by better teams.
Another negative for me was the size of the crowd. I would have thought with a side second in the table coming to town there would have been more than 3000 fans at the game. Okay it was a miserable night but it’s worrying for the club to see such small attendances so early in the season.
Daire O’Connor’s injury is also a huge blow to John Caulfield. I spoke with him after the game and he confirmed he has a dislocated shoulder but luckily for him Dr Gerard Murphy was able to pop his shoulder back into place and he hopes he’ll be back in action for the Dundalk game away in two weeks’ time.
City were due to play UCD next weekend but that has been cancelled due to U21 International duty and now instead they will play Midleton in the Munster senior cup final in Turner’s Cross at 7 30 pm. I’d imagine Caulfield will rest his main players and use his squad in this match. It will be interesting to see where he plays Kevin O’Connor in this game. He came on for the final few minutes on Friday but I’m sure when he re-signed for the club that he would not have been expecting to be out of the first team at this stage of the season.
This is a tough one for Caulfield to solve as for me O’Connor is a left back and not a midfielder and Shane Griffin is currently in custody of the left back shirt and his form dictates that he should start there every week. It would be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few weeks.