City Eye-'Opener' as Bohs Secure Victory in front of 6,400
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork City 1
Cork City endured a bit of a sobering evening on Friday night as their return to the top flight of Irish football ended in a home defeat to Bohemians. In front of over 6,400 supporters, the Rebel Army struggled to breakdown a well organised outfit, and the manner of the defeat will be of concern not only for City supporters, but for manager Colin Healy and the onlooking new owner, Mr Dermot Usher.
Goals from Grant Horton and Jordan Flores arrived for Bohemains before Ruari Keating capitalised on a comical goalkeeping error late on to cut the deficit and give City some hope of conjuring up an equaliser. However, the Dublin outfit held on to take home all 3 points, and in truth, anything less would have been an injustice. Carrigaline's Josh Honohan starting the game in a back three, while Gordan Walker was an unused substitute. Roy Keane, Damien Delaney and Minister Michael McGrath were all in attendance.
For those new to Turner's Cross on Friday evening, they might not have been totally aware of the sense of 'new' that has washed over the club in recent months. The most tangible change was evident, a scoreboard in the St Anne's end of the stadium, the first permanent scoreboard the stadium has had. This might seem trivial and it is but at the same time it shows the fingerprints of the new ownership, with Mr Dermot Usher seeking to deliver on his goal to improve the overall matchday experience at Turner's Cross.
However, while this represents a new direction off the pitch, on the pitch those who travelled week-in, week-out to games last season will agree that not much has changed. Although the core group of players who started on Friday night were good enough to claim the First Division title last year, this opening contest has shown that there are clearly levels between the divisions, with time on the ball in the Premier Division at a premium and City struggled to cope with the pace and pressing of Bohemians.
The 3-5-2 formation is now the well defined system that manager Colin Healy seeks to deploy again in this campaign, however while this enabled the back three, including Carrigaline's Josh Honohan, to repel much that faced them, a lack of creativity and presence in midfield allowed Bohemians to control this part of the park and they found great joy in the final third of the pitch, looking dangerous when moving through the lines throughout the contest.
A few new additions to the City side this season have come from the Swedish league, but Kevin Custovic and Albin Winbo seemed to really struggle with the pace of the game. Meanwhile, 19 year-old Celtic goalkeeper, Tobi Oluwayemi, did not inspire too much confidence and while he made a couple of smart saves, his distribution was poor and his misreading of the ball-flight lead to Bohemians second goal.
Up the pitch, City equally failed to inspire and a lack of creativity is evident, with the main source of threat and gameplan appearing to be long-balls to the workhorse that is Ruari Keating, and the hope that he can flick on a chance for supporting players.
It's far too early to be waving the white flag but the manner of the defeat on Friday night will offer manager Healy and Dermot Usher some serious food for thought. With one week left until the transfer window closes, one would expect that there will be an increased sense of urgency that more players need to come through the door if City are to guarantee their status in Premier Division football come the end of the season.