League Report: Cork City 0 - 0 Wexford

Cork City clinched the First Division title last night. Credit: David Ribeiro (ETPhotos)

Philip Morrisey reports from Turner's Cross

Cork City played out a 0-0 draw with opponents Wexford on Friday night but ultimately it was enough to help gain promotion back to the Premier Division. They had the better in a game of few clear chances, but the fans celebrated upon the final whistle.          

Wexford were determined to try and spoil any potential party. They were looking for the win to assist faint hopes of the play-offs but will remain a first division club into 2023. Alex Moody and his back-line held firm to achieve a rare clean sheet despite two disallowed goals.

Both sides elected to make just the one change. David Harrington was unable to recover from a knock that he received in training and so was replaced by Jimmy Corcoran in the Cork goal.

Jack Doherty made his return to the Wexford starting eleven with a goal from the bench in their 4-2 win against Bray and started then tonight. He replaced Thomas Considine.

The crowds outside the ground meant that the game was delayed by ten minutes. It was a surprisingly tentative opening period given the attacking line-ups on display by both sides. Conor Davis showed good persistence when outnumbered to win an early corner. He had good memories when scoring in this ground earlier in the season.

That sparked City into life, and they had three opportunities in the space of a few minutes.

Alex Moody was kept busy, he caught a Ruairi Keating header well, grabbed the ball off Cian Murphy’s feet from a low Cian Bargary cross and just saw Aaron Bolger strike past his right-hand post.  

Cian Coleman seemed determined to be the man to get his side going. He pounced on a loose ball to stride into midfield before releasing Keating. His swept cross into the area was just too strong for the onrushing Murphy who would have only needed a connection.

Wexford then started to demonstrate the threat they possessed. Jack Doherty had an effort from outside the area that was deflected over the bar before Harry Groome almost found a way through with a nutmeg on Coleman but Ally Gilchrist closed the door on him.

A long ball forward then almost proved disastrous for City at the back as Aaron Dobbs almost got in between Jimmy Corcoran and Gilchrist. The keeper was able to retrieve it in time.  

City came back again and were wondering how they didn’t score. A set-piece saw a remarkable four chances in quick succession that were blocked by a combination of Moody and his defenders. Matt Healy then had a shot deflected wide whilst Keating should have netted from another Bargary cross. He got his attempted flick all wrong though. Moody then denied Murphy with a shot that was destined for his bottom corner.

An extraordinary few minutes in the second half saw two disallowed goals for City. The first seemed clear-cut as Murphy prodded home through Moody’s legs as the flag had already gone up.

The second was less so. A corner was swung in and bundled into the net. The celebrations by fans and players were cut short as the referee blew his whistle for a handball.

The game remained in the balance but neither side was able to really create much of note. The tension inside the packed ground was perhaps transmitting itself to the players as they did not want to commit too much in case of a mistake.

There were massive celebrations at the final whistle as Galway’s loss to Athlone confirmed they could not be caught.

They now return to the Premier Division after an absence of two years. They play away to Athlone next weekend before a final day trophy presentation at home to Bray. Wexford face into two relative dead rubber games against Galway and Treaty.       

Cork City: Jimmy Corcoran; Darragh Crowley, Ally Gilchrist, Jonas Hakkinen; Cian Bargary, Aaron Bolger, Barry Coffey, Cian Coleman, Matt Healy; Ruairi Keating, Cian Murphy.

Subs not used: Corey Chambers, Gordon Walker, Kevin O'Connor, Dylan McGlade, Matt Srbely, James Doona, Louis Britton, Mark O'Mahony, Franco Umeh Chibueze.
Booked: None.

Wexford: Alex Moody; Paul Cleary, Eoin Farrell, Joseph Manley, Adam Wells; Conor Crowley, Harry Groome (Len O'Sullivan 85), Luka Lovic; Conor Davis (Thomas Considine 71), Aaron Dobbs, Jack Doherty (Conor Barry 86).
Subs not used: Shay O'Leary, Mitchell Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Aidan Friel, Darragh Levingston, Evan Farrell.
Booked: Adam Wells (65) .

Referee: Paul Norton

Attendance: 6035

extratime.com Player of the Match: Alex Moody