League Report: Cork City 2 - 0 Kerry FC

Jack Doherty of Cork City FC celebrates his goal during the League of Ireland First Division: Cork City FC vs Kerry FC

Jack Doherty of Cork City FC celebrates his goal during the League of Ireland First Division: Cork City FC vs Kerry FC Credit: David Ribeiro (ETPhotos)

A brace from Jack Doherty secured a winning start for the First Division favourites on Fiday night at Turner's Cross.

With a new-look side that will take some time to gel, they showed glimpses of their potential. Tim Clancy will be quietly satisfied as greater challenges lie ahead.

It was a familiar feeling for Kerry, though. Backed by their fans who travelled in numbers to create an excellent atmosphere, they were unable to score a goal to give their supporters something to cheer about. They must hope for better luck as the season progresses.

Both sides featured a new lineup, with Cork starting seven of their new signings and three academy players. Kerry began with four of their recent arrivals and plenty of young talent as well. Each side opted for a nominally 4-4-3 formation.

In an opening period dominated by head tennis, it was the home side who had the first effort on goal. Sean Murray swung a free kick in from out wide on the right that went all the way through and was held at the end by Antonio Tuta.

Kerry showed promise, and Sean McGrath forced Brad Wade into a smart save at his near post after picking up a loose ball just outside the area. He then got back to block an effort from Jack Doherty after the attacker had drifted into the area.

However, Doherty was not to be denied for long. Kerry struggled to deal with the movement of the City forward players and paid the price.

Arran Healy intercepted a pass out wide and played it inside to Doherty. He skipped past a challenge before slotting his effort with precision into the bottom corner.

Tuta was forced into another save from a Murray free kick from the left side that he appeared to struggle with. The keeper pulled up not long after but was okay to continue.

He was soon picking the ball out of his net again, though. It was a well-crafted team goal from the back.

Murray found Evan McLaughlin in space, who drove forward before laying it off to Nathan Wood. He combined delightfully with Doherty before the latter slotted past the stranded Tuta for his second.

Harry Nevin almost created a chance with a bursting run from right-back, and Tuta denied Wood as Cork aimed to stretch their lead further. The visitors managed to survive until the break, though.

Kerry almost found their way back into the game shortly after the break, with Andrew Spain rising highest from a Steven Healy corner. Nevin was alive to the danger and hacked it off the line.

The game became somewhat tetchy as the half went on, with a succession of fouls only serving to disrupt the flow of the game further.

Cork seemed content with their lead, and the visitors lacked the necessary quality to really threaten them.

City aimed to put the game to bed as it approached the last quarter.

Substitute Barry Coffey saw an effort deflected wide off Nathan Wood, Jaden Umeh was unlucky to see his sharp scissor kick go just over the bar, and Doherty was just off target with another effort from distance.

Charlie Lyons should have put his name on the scoresheet when a corner rebounded into his path. The defender could only put his effort from a few yards out over the bar.

Job done in the end. Cork is next on the road as they travel to Finn Harps next Friday at 19:45. Meanwhile, Kerry has their first home game of the season when they welcome Bray Wanderers.

Cork City: Bradley Wade; Cian Coleman, Matthew Kiernan, Charlie Lyons, Harry Nevin; Jack Doherty, Arran Healy (Jaden Umeh 59), Evan McLaughlin (Barry Coffey 59), Sean Murray, Cathal O'Sullivan; Nathan Wood.
Subs not used: Aidan Dowling, John O'Donovan, Niall Brookwell, Conor Drinan, Josh Fitzpatrick, Cian Murphy, Harvey Skieters.
Booked: Evan McLaughlin (5), Harry Nevin (51), Jack Doherty (77).
Sent off: None.

Kerry FC: Antonio Tuta; Samuel Aladesanusi, Sean O'Connell (Ethan Kos 67), Andrew Spain, Kevin Williams; Nathan Gleeson, Steven Healy (Kennedy Amechi 67), Sean McGrath (Daire McCarthy 67), Daniel Okwute, Ronan Teahan; Victor Udeze (Ryan Kelliher 46).
Subs not used: Lee Axworthy, Rob Vasiu, Graham O'Reilly, Ferdia O'Brien, Cian Brosnan.
Booked: Ryan Kelliher (57), Samuel Aladesanusi (64), Kevin Williams (76), Daire McCarthy (82).
Sent off: None.

Referee: Daniel Murphy.
Attendance: 5,507
extratime.com Player of the Match: Jack Doherty