A Cork City XI slumped to a disappointing defeat to English Championship side Fulham in their friendly at Turners Cross on Saturday afternoon.
A first half brace from striker Stephen Humphrys followed in the second period by a Matt Smith header, was enough to see off the challenge of a young Cork City side and ensure Fulham continued their pre-season tour of Ireland with another win.
Given the Leesiders’ hectic schedule with important fixtures on the horizon both in domestic competition and in the Europa League, John Caulfield took the opportunity to field a side predominantly made up of youngsters from the clubs youth academy.
And although the hosts started brightly, they suffered an early set back as Fulham took the lead after 14 minutes through Stephen Humphrys.
A surging run down the left flank from Togo international Floyd Ayite allowed the winger to roll a ball across the six yard box and Humphrys made no mistake, tapping in from close range.
From that moment on it was all Fulham as they dominated possession largely thanks to the experienced Scott Parker, who was pulling the strings in the heart of the midfield.
They deservedly added a second midway through the first half after a mix up between the City defence and their goalkeeper Matthew Connor, who signed for the club permantly straight after the game, allowed Humphrys to pick up his second goal, again tapping home from a few yards out.
Fulham made wholesale changes at half time, 11 in total, but they still continued to threaten the struggling Cork rear-guard and they duly added a third almost immediately after the restart.
A superb cross from the left flank by Sean Kavanagh picked out the tall frame of Matt Smith at the back post, who rose highest to tower his header into the net.
The game seemed to peter out after that decisive goal from Smith as both sides failed to find any rhythm especially Cork City, who began to ring the changes to their tiring side.
The Cork City academy will undoubtedly be better following this experience but up next for the senior squad, rested following their recent draw against Linfield, is Wexford Youths in the Airtricity league followed by their second round Europa League qualifier in Sweden against Bk Hacken.
Cork City: Matthew Connor (David Coffey 78), Anthony McAlavey (Pierce Philllips 60), Connor Ellis (Owen Wall 78) , Chidozie Ogbene (Patrick Crowley 83), Conor McCarthy, Eli Khadi Harrington, Aaron Drinan (Denzil Fernandes 85), Craig Donnellan (Daire O’Riordan 85), Cian Coleman (Ross Welch 78), Shane Mcinerney (David Iboma 45, Garan Manley 83), Danny Mullarkey (Alec Byrne 83).
Subs not used: Adam Mylod, Kevin Taylor.
First Half: Marcus Bettinelli, Ryan Fredericks, Michael Madi, Tim Ream, Ryan Sessegnon, Tom Cairney, Scott Parker, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Floyd Ayite, Ross McCormack, Stephen Humphrys.
Second Half: Marek Rodak, Jack Grimmer, Richard Stearman, Sean Kavanagh, Dennis Adeniran, Tayo Edun, Lucas De La Torre, Cauley Woodrow, Lasse Vigen Christensen, Matt Smith, Jesse Jesse Joronen.
Subs Not Used: Magnus Norman.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
Attendance: 450 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Stephen Humphrys (Fulham).