Cork City and Waterford shared the points in Turner’s Cross on Saturday night, as the Munster rivals played out a 0-0 draw.
A point for either team leaves City a point off Finn Harps at the foot of the table and the Blues are now two points clear of St. Patrick Athletic in fourth.
The Blues last visit to Turner’s Cross ended in dramatic circumstances in September 2019. After Daire O’Connor opened the scoring in the first half, giving City an early lead, Maxim Kouogun then equalised with ten minutes remaining and in what was the last second of the game, Walter Figueira scored on the break to snatch the three points for Waterford.
The two teams met last July in the RSC in a sunny afternoon in the south East for a drawn game, which saw neither team score.
Cian Coleman went close inside the first five minutes to putting the home side ahead but Brian Murphy dived low to deny the midfielder. This was to be a theme for much of the first half as City used the ball but ultimately lacked an end product. Kevin O’Connor, who began the season at Waterford, did very well to poke Deshane Dalling through. However, at the end of the on loan winger’s squared ball, was Murphy who simply picked up the ball.
Dalling and Dylan McGlade combined well and the Dubliner ran through on goal. As Robert McCourt converged, he curled his shot towards the top right of the goal but yet again Murphy was equal to the effort.
City’s early dominance faded into a period of control for Waterford. Kurtis Byrne was central in pushing on their attack, as the forward, who was pivotal in Dundalk’s 2014 and 2015 league title successes, constantly ran and stretched the Rebel Army wide. Chances soon built up, but like City, there was no one on hand to finish them off.
Will Fitzgerald picked the ball off Jake O’Brien and tried and audacious shot from distance which fell into the Shed End. Allistar Coote muscled free out wide and fired at goal, which was blocked by O’Connor. Seconds before the half-time whistle the midfielder had a cross whizz in front of a crowded penalty area and fail to connect with a blue jersey.
Early periods of the second half saw both teams enjoying possession but neither could create something meaningful. Dalling had an effort from distance gathered by Murphy and minutes later Gearoid Morrissey tried the impossible with a bicycle kick but Murphy caught once again. Daryl Murphy, who last played at Turner’s Cross in 2016 in a friendly between Ireland and Belarus, saw attempts at setting up Coote and Fitzgerald intercepted by Olowu.
Following a flurry of chances, which was best highlighted by a curling shot from McGlade, City thought that they had scored through a corner from Kevin O’Connor. However, to the relief of Waterford, referee Ben Connolly gave a free out.
Matthew Smith ended City’s domination of the ball as he dispossessed Gearoid Morrissey inside his own half. He passed around and linked up well with Will Lonbottom, but Joseph Olowu held his position well and the pair couldn’t break through into City’s penalty area, despite their best efforts.
City had a fanatic opportunity to go ahead with just five minutes remaining. Dalling fired into the area and Murphy palmed it out to Kit Elliot who had his follow through put out for a corner. From that, the ball bobbed around inside the area and at the end a blue jersey rose the highest to clear the danger.
The game finished with some fine runs by City out wide, with substitute Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh forcing an unbelievable low save from Murphy as both sides exited the ground all square.
Cork City FC: Liam Bossin (gk), Henry Ochieng, Gearoid Morrissey, Dylan McGlade (Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh 76’), Cian Coleman, Cory Galvin (Cian Bagary 56’), Alec Byrne (Kit Elliot 62’), Kevin O’Connor, Deshane Dalling, Joseph Olowu, Jake O’Brien.
Subs not used: Dave Harrington (gk), Alan Bennett, Rob Slevin, Dale Holland.
Booked: Deshane Dalling (Yellow Card 34’), Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh (Yellow Card 85’), Joseph Olowu.
Waterford FC: Brian Murphy (gk), Jake Davidson, Tyreke Wilson, Robbie Weir, Allistar Coote (Will Longbottom 69’), Matthew Smith, Darragh Power (Tunmise Sobowale 88’), Robert McCourt, Will Fitzgerald, Kurtis Byrne (Daryl Murphy 56’), Niall O’Keeffe.
Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan (gk), John Martin, Alex Phelan.
Referee: Benn Connolly
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Brian Murphy (Waterford FC)