An impressive attacking performance from Cork City earned them a deserved three points at Turner’s Cross against Bray Wanderers, as the Rebel Army look to finish their maiden Premier Division season strongly.
Goals from Keigan Parker and Kevin Murray sealed the win for City, although red cards for Ian Turner and Gearóid Morrissey threatened to hinder their result.
Cork started the stronger of the two sides, and enjoyed sustained periods of possession throughout the early stages, never allowing Bray Wanderers to really get going. The Rebel Army had the first real chance of the game after 12 minutes, when Vinny Sullivan headed just wide from Keigan Parker’s superb cross from the right side.
They followed it up nine minutes later with another great chance – this time Daryl Horgan latched on to a beautiful cross-field ball from Parker, only to curl his resulting shot inches wide of the upright.
Tommy Dunne’s men were really beginning to turn the screw, and finally made their possession pay after 32 minutes. Daryl Horgan broke quickly on the counter attack, before feeding Keigan Parker a perfectly weighted pass. Parker then proceeded to cooly chip the goalkeeper and send his side into a deserved lead.
Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters very nearly hit back with an equaliser for Bray five minutes later following a missed clearance by Kalen Spillane, but City keeper Mark McNulty quickly got to the ball to prevent any goalscoring opportunities.
Cork really looked dangerous in their attacks and very nearly doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Some smart interplay from Keigan Parker and Daryl Horgan saw Ian Turner rattle the post with a well-struck volley – but the two teams went in at half time with the score remaining 1-0.
Keigan Parker nearly doubled his tally two minutes into the second half, when he found himself in acres of space in the opposition half, but his audacious chip nestled safely into Darren Quigley’s hands. Bray then went straight up the other end and almost scored themselves, captain Danny O’Connor found himself completely unmarked in the penalty area, but his shot just clipped the post and went wide.
Many thought that the Seagulls would come to regret that missed opportunity later in the game, and they were certainly right as just a minute later, Gavin Kavanagh made it two for Cork City, with a bullet header from Ian Turner’s corner kick.
City looked to be home and dry as the game wound down, but things suddenly turned very feisty indeed. Ian Turner was shown a second yellow for his trip on Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters.
Tommy Dunne’s charges then dropped considerably deeper, and very nearly paid for it as the game entered the 80th minute. Following a near-fatal slip from Gavin Kavanagh, Yani Georgiev found himself free in the penalty area, but somehow managed to fail to beat the goalkeeper, it was obvious that this just wasn’t their day.
Just as the game was beginning to peter out, things took a very sinister turn. An off-the-ball incident involving Gearóid Morrissey and Adam Mitchell led to the Cork City midfielder being shown a straight red-card, and City finished the game with nine men.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Gavin Kavanagh, Kevin Murray, Kalen Spillane, Danny Murphy; Ian Turner, Gearóid Morrissey, Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan; Vinny Sullivan, Keigan Parker (Davin O’Neill 70 (Neal Horgan 93)).
Subs not used: Kevin Burns, Dan Murray, Graham McCarthy, Stephen Kenny.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; David Webster, Shane O'Connor, Adam Mitchell, Dane Massey; Kieran 'Marty' Waters, Danny O'Connor (Yani Georgiev 75), Dean Marshall (Adam Hanlon 61), Conor Earley, Daire Doyle (Paul Moffat 69), John Mulroy.
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Ismahil Akinade, Conor Butler, Patrick Seery.
Referee: James McKell.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Daryl Horgan (Cork City).