The Leesiders picked up a point in a windy and rain swept Mayfield Community School as a spirited Kilkenny United side fought back from a goal down to claim a draw.
The Leesiders started the game well and pushed Kilkenny back deep into their own half – with Saorise Noonan in particular a handful for the Kilkenny back line. Barbara O’Connell showed quick feet when cutting in from the right to beat Levy but no City player could get on the cross she flashed across goal. However, the first significant effort came to Kilkenny when after seven minutes, a sweeping ball across from the right landed at the feet of Niamh Walsh who raced in but her shot was denied by Trish Fennelly – the stopper using her frame excellently to keep the scores level. Lauren Murphy then saw her cross cause havoc in the United goalmouth as she floated it in with Christina Coffey able to collect at the second attempt.
City were then awarded a penalty after O’Connell was brought down by Levy on the edge of the box. Saorise Noonan stepped up to take the kick but her effort was a little underhit and Christina Coffey saved. A huge let off for Kilkenny. City kept going however and O’Connell was unlucky not to connect with an Evelyn Daly cross after the dynamic midfielder had wriggled free on the right hand side and cut into the box.
City weren’t to be denied for long however as Barbara O’Connell again showed good feet and acceleration to beat Sinead Gaynor before laying a ball across to Lauren Homan who held off her man well before slotting the ball past Coffey - a superb debut goal for the young striker. After taking the lead, City had a number of chances with Megan Kelleher close to a Lauren Murphy free kick at the back post before Noonan flashed an effort just wide after a smart turn and shot from 25 yards out but it remained a single goal lead at the break.
Saorise Noonan then slotted home after tussling with Olivia Nolan in the box with another smart low finish into the bottom corner – but saw the effort ruled out for a foul in the box. However, as the weather worsened significantly – the visitors started to work their way back into the game. Tara O’Gorman first blocked a Lisa Murphy effort before Niamh Walsh hit a half volley that Fennelly gathered up. O’Connell then chipped just over after a superb ball across from substitute Ciara Desmond.
However, late on – United managed to draw themselves level as Lisa Murphy swept the ball past an outrushing Fennelly with the forward taking a significant knock in the aftermath. The Cats were then on top for the remainder of the match as first Laura Hallissey blazed over one on one with Fennelly before Jenny Clifford’s shot was cleared off the line by Danielle Burke.
Commenting on the game – manager Niall O’Regan said “We’re a little disappointed to only pick up a point here as I thought we were the better team for the first 60 minutes – but a lot of credit must go to Kilkenny who stuck at it for the game and were rewarded late on with the equaliser. I’m delighted Lauren Homan opened up her account for the club and I know she’ll be a big player for the rest of the season and beyond”.
The Leesiders face UCD Waves next weekend away in Jackson Park at 2pm on the 14th February in their next Continental Tyres Women’s National League game.
Cork City W.F.C. – Trish Fennelly, Danielle Burke, Tara O’Gorman (Ciara Desmond), Megan Kelleher (Kate O’Donovan), Zoe Murphy, Laura Lynch, Evelyn Daly, Barbara O’Connell, Saorise Noonan, Lauren Homan, Lauren Murphy (Megan Carroll)
Unused Substitutions – Roisin O’Connell, Sophie Hurley, Amy O’Reilly, Ca Cooke
Kilkenny United – Christine Coffey, Sinead Gaynor, Olivia Nolan, Ali O’Keeffe, Karley Levy, Sylvia Gee, Jenny O’Keeffe, Shoinnie Swarres Lisa Murphy, Jenny Clifford, Niamh Walsh
Substitutions – Michaela Farrell, Ashling Carroll, Laura Hallissey, Tara Power, Siobhan Grant, Nadine Ryan