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Kerry FC v Cork City FC

Match Report – Kerry FC v Cork City FC



On Friday night Kerry FC welcomed Munster rivals Cork City to Mounthawk Park for the first time this season. The ground was dry and the weather was somewhat sunny on a perfect evening for League of Ireland football to kick-off the Bank Holiday weekend in Tralee. The last time these two faced each other it was the first game of the season in a sold-out Turners Cross. City won 2-0 on the night making the score line look better than the performance from Kerry FC as they were introduced to the side who are more than likely going to go straight back up to the Premier Division next season.

Cork have drawn four of their away games this season as Kerry will hope to pick up just their second win of the campaign. The home side have lost twice since their outstanding eight-game unbeaten streak and there was no better time to make things right than picking up points in a sold-out Mounthawk Park.

Kerry FC had a fully fit squad for the first time this campaign which probably seemed to be a headache for First Team Head Coach Conor McCarthy, but a good one at that. A fantastic atmosphere was created by both sets of fans ahead of kick-off on what was a historic night for Kerry football.

First Half
Referee David Murphy awarded Cork City a penalty just 8 minutes into the game as Cian Coleman played a long ball over the top. The flight of the ball was not judged well by Antonio Tuta and Andy Spain, which left a loose ball on the edge of the box to be hit by Joshua Fitzpatrick. His effort was blocked by his own player, Jaden Umeh, but fell to Cathal O’Sullivan who tried to finish the ball into an empty net but was deemed to be blocked by the hand of Kevin Williams. Evan McLaughlin stood up to take the penalty and slotted it down the middle to put the away side in front and send the travelling support into a frenzy.

It got a bit frantic as the game went on, the majority of possession with Cork City, but what was more noticeable was the number of yellow cards being dished out with the likes of Daire McCarthy, Joshua Fitzpatrick and Greg Bolger all going into the referee’s book in the opening half.

Jaden Umeh had a chance to make it 2-0 just ten minutes after the opening goal but his lobbed effort went wide of the post. Umeh forced Kerry FC captain Andy Spain into an error, went around Tuta but the young striker was unable to hit the target and his shot went well wide of the mark.

Kerry FC ended the half positively as they were able to get a couple of opportunities on goal in the last ten minutes of the half. The first came from Daniel Okwute who made some space for himself outside the area before striking one from a distance, but the shot was a bit tame and was gathered easily by Bradley Wade in the Cork goal. The second was an Ethan Kos header who came on for the injured Andy Spain and nearly made an impact straight away but a glancing header from Kos went just wide of Wade’s right-hand post.

Kerry went in behind by a single goal to nil at the short whistle and knew that if they stayed in the game long enough that they had every chance of getting a goal and salvaging at least a point from this one.

Second Half
Cork City opened the half with a couple of good chances that could not be pounced on. Jaden Umeh, firstly hitting the crossbar after a free kick into the box from Greg Bolger was pushed away as far as O’Sullivan whose shot was deflected into the path of Umeh. He seemed to have a clear shot on goal but could not capitalise as he rattled the frame of the goal.

The second chance came from Cathal O’Sullivan, which was possibly one of the best of the game. A fantastic long-range shot produced an unbelievable fingertip save from Antonio Tuta to keep his side in the game for that bit longer. The Croatian keeper came to Kerry FC’s rescue on that occasion.

Kerry FC’s biggest chance of the half came with twenty minutes to play as Daniel Okwute did very well down the right wing, Wade knocked his cross into space, but the Cork defence did extremely well to block Amechi’s shot and clear any incoming danger from Sean McGrath who was lurking in the penalty area.

Kerry continued to pile the pressure on the City defenders leading into the additional time but despite the league newcomers best efforts, they couldn’t find the back of the Cork net. There is not much time to rest as Kerry FC are back on the road on Monday as they face Longford Town away at Bishopsgate with kick-off at the earlier time of 5pm.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 5. Andy Spain (C), 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 3. Sean O’Connell, 8. Ronan Teahan, 21. Daire McCarthy, 7. Sean McGrath, 13. Nathan Gleeson, 11. Daniel Okwute, 9. Ryan Kelliher.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kavanagh, Ethan Kos, Valerii Dolia, Kennedy Amechi, Steven Healy, Cian Brosnan, Victor Udeze, Evison Rramani.

Cork City Team: 1. Bradley Wade, 2. Harry Nevin, 4. Cian Coleman ( C ), 5. Charlie Lyons, 6. Greg Bolger, 8. Evan McLaughlin (Goal ’10 Pen), 10. Barry Coffey, 16. Sean Murray, 20. Joshua Fitzpatrick, 22. Cathal O’Sullivan, 23. Jaden Umeh.

Subs: Aidan Dowling, Cian Bargary, Nathan Wood, Conor Drinan, 17. Darragh Crowley, 18. Niall Brookwell, Cian Murphy, Harvey Skieters, Arran Healy