Date: 7:45 p.m. Sept. 4, 2009
Venue: Turners Cross
The home side asked for an increase in support during the week, but a total of just 2,026 watched this exciting contest. “Cork City FC has set a target of achieving an attendance of 5,000 fans at each of our remaining six league games this season, as we bid to achieve European qualification,” read the club's statement earlier this week.
It was quite obvious from the start that Coughlan would deal with the complete opposite – a barrage of chants against him from the hardcore at the Shed End. The property developer was sat in his usual seat cheering on Cork, though, and he was able to do his at times cringe-worthy fist pump four times on a good night on-the-field.
Cork welcomed back Kevin Long after he missed out on last week's win over Cliftonville in the Setanta Cup. Faz Kuduzovic, Cork’s main goal threat having lost Denis Behan to Hartlepool, was suspended and the home-side were in fact dealt an early blow.
There was just six minutes on the clock when a long ball forward from former player Sean Kelly wasn’t dealt with and it resulted in Kevin Long heading the ball into his own net, despite calls from Mark McNulty in the Cork goal.
Cork went close to equalising through the speedy Billy Dennehy on 12 minutes, but Barry Ryan made a good stop with his feet. Gareth Cambridge followed up with another notable chance three minutes later, after Dennehy played him in. However, the recently signed attacker scuffed his shot wide of the mark.
The Leesiders’ pressure paid off in the 18th minute though, and it was Davin O’Neill who levelled proceedings. Some good pressure from the home team saw Greg O’Halloran’s overhead kick cleared off the line. Nevertheless, the ball fell to O’Neill on the edge of the area and the 26-year-old scored his 2nd goal of the season, firing the ball into the roof of the net.
Cork continued to press immediately after the goal, and with Danny Murphy and Billy Dennehy bossing the left wing the home team looked threatening. Gareth Cambridge had an excellent chance in front of goal after Murphy and Cillian Lordan done well in the build-up. Cambridge, though, hit the shot wide to the left of Barry Ryan.
As the sun fell behind the nearly empty St Anne’s end, so did the tempo of the game and the promising start tailored off towards the end of the half. Galway had some good possession of the ball, but would then lose it where it mattered; in the Cork box.
The home team squandered another good chance eight minutes before the break, as Cambridge struck over again from a similar position to his first miss. Greg O’Halloran crossed, and Joe Gamble’s effort was blocked as far as the Nufarm schooled player who drilled well over the bar.
The second half started slowly, with very little goalmouth action. Cork were patient in the build-up, and it finally paid off thanks to Greg O’Halloran’s neat work down the right. The former Shels man was busy up and down the flank all night and his pin-point cross was met by Billy Dennehy at the back-post and he was composed enough to place the ball past Ryan and into the roof of the net just after an hour.
The lead was doubled three minutes later, when Gareth Cambridge netted at the fourth time of asking. Billy Dennehy’s cross was knocked-back across the face of goal and Cambridge was there amongst a scramble of players to make it 3-1 to the Leesiders.
Vinny Faherty almost grabbed one back for the Tribesmen on 71, his bending effort hitting the wrong side of the net as Mark McNulty looked to be stranded. The away team would make it 3-2 minutes later though, as Alan Murphy netted after Faherty proved instrumental in the build-up.
Cork almost scored again from the restart, as Danny Murphy forced Barry Ryan into a sublime save with a powerful drive from 35 yards. As the minutes ticked by, the home team looked composed and a well worked move down the left from man of the match Gareth Cambrige ended with Davin O’Neill tapping in from close range to extend the lead to two again.
It would end like that for the Leesiders, as the pursuit for 3rd place continues to gather pace.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Danny Murphy, Greg O’Halloran, Dan Murray, Joe Gamble, Guntars Silagailis, Billy Dennehy, Cillian Lordan, Davin O’Neill, Kevin Long, Gareth Cambridge Subs: Dan Connor, Tim Kiely (Billy Dennehy, 86), Shane Duggan, Paul Deasy, Stephen O’Donnell
Galway United: Barry Ryan, Paul Sinnott, Seamus Conneely, Garry Breen, Mark O’Toole, Alan Murphy, Shane Fitzgerald, Sean Kiely, Cian McBrien, Vinny Faherty, Aaron Greene Subs: Shane Guthrie (Shane Fitzgerald, 46), John Russell (Mark O’Toole, 46), John Sangi, Jason Molloy, Iarfhlaith Davoren
Referee: P Sutton
Official Man of the Match: Gareth Cambridge
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Greg O’Halloran. The defender was lively up and down the right, but also remained solid in defence.