The Daily Shift’s Cathal Power gives a full match report on the Cork City FC victory over Manchester United at Turners Cross. Enjoy interviews with Chelsea and Italy legend Gianfranco Zola after the Watfrod friendly, as well as Manchester United reserve coach Warren Joyce speaking after the 2-0 defeat…
A Manchester United XI were defeated by Cork City FC in a friendly match at Turners Cross last night in their second game of a mini pre-season tour of Ireland.
City manager Tommy Dunne fielded a strong team for the first 45 minutes, with the likes of Daryl Horgan, John Dunleavy and Danny Murphy all shining in the game. Being 17 games into their league campaign, it would have been understandable if City had played below par, particularly seeing as they have played three games in the space of a week.
However, this certainly wasn’t the case, with City coming out of the blocks quickly. Both sides showcased some neat passing in the opening exchanges, with young Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj sparkling in front of the 6000 strong crowd.
Cork had the first real shot on goal, albeit it has to be said that is was a rather speculative shot. Centre back Kalen Spillane let fly with a 30 yard drive which troubled young Jonny Sutherland in the United goal after just ten minutes. Vinny Sullivan had the next best attempt for the home side after winger Daryl Horgan won a free kick on the left wing. Ian Turner whipped in a low free kick, but Sullivan couldn’t quite connect properly having got ahead of his marker. A good chance for the Leesiders.
Daryl Horgan was giving young Italian defender Michele Fornasier a torrid time in the first half, with the Sligo native forcing an instinctive save out of Sutherland at his near post. The United shot topper did well to push Horgan’s drive wide of the post after the winger beat not one, but two United defenders before letting fly with his right boot. The resulting corner saw the opening goal of the game with Kevin Murray rising highest at the back post to power home a header from Ian Turners excellent corner. 1-0 Cork City.
Inspired by their goal, former Celtic and Republic of Ireland midfielder Colin Healy saw his long range effort fly narrowly past the United upright. City left back Danny Murphy had a snap shot parried by Sutherland. United hotshots were failing to sparkle on the night, with Norwegian Under-21 International fashioning their best chance of the half. The young striker was off balance having made some room for himself on the edge of the Cork City box, with his resulting shot going well wide of Mark McNulty’s post.
Tommy Dunne made ten outfield changes in the second half with the league game versus Shelbourne Friday night clearly on his mind. Naturally one would think that this would have disrupted the flow of the game for Cork, but this certainly wasn’t the case, with the Rebel Army picking up where they left off in the first half. Cathal Lordan and young winger Stephen Kenny both had early opportunities , before the 6000 strong City crowd felt that the home side should have been awarded a penalty. New signing Keigan Parker went down under a sliding tackle from Republic of Ireland under-19 International, but referee Graham Kelly somehow felt it was a dive and showed a yellow card to Parker, much to the anger of the home crowd. It was debatable as to whether it was a penalty or not, but not a million years was a it a dive in this reporters eyes.
United started to show a bit more urgency as the final whistle was fast approaching. The young side managed to carve out a decent opportunity on the 17 minute mark with sharp one-touch football. Jack Barmby, son of former England Intergenerational Nick, had the best opportunity on the edge of the City box but he skied his shot over the bar while under pressure from the defence. At the other end, Sutherland proved his worth again for United, tipping a wonderful effort from former Blackpool striker Keigan Parker, just past the post.
Young City striker Andy O’Connell rose highest from the resulting corner to score the second goal of the game for the home side in front of the Shed End. Referee Kelly blew the final whistle right at the restart, giving Cork City a well deserved 2-0 victory over one of the biggest clubs in the world. Yet this wasn’t the first time that a Cork side had beaten the Red Devils, with Cork coming out as 2-0 winners at Musgrave Park a number of years back.
Tuesday night also saw Cork City face Gianfranco Zola’s Watford side in a pre-season friendly for the hornets. City went down 2-0 to a very strong Watford side, but the legendary Zola praised Cork City for their efforts while speaking to The Daily Shift’s Cathal Power…
The first two friendlies, we weren’t at full fitness, but now we are doing well and getting better physically, and everything will be more in line. Our time here as been very beneficial, we have found excellent facilities and it’s a great place to be, really pleased with what we’ve had at our disposal. Cork City were very difficult, trying very hard, but to be fair they played a game two days ago, another tomorrow and another in three days time, so you know they tried very half and in the first half they made it very difficult, they tried to play good foobtall and that is very important, so I was pleased with their performance too.
Manchester United reserve manager Warren Joyce also took time out to speak to the media and The Daily Shift’s Cathal Power after the 2-0 defeat for his side…
It was a reasonable hostile crowd tonight, and you want a bit of that, you want them sticking up because it’s another experience as well. It was a great atmosphere tonight with the crowd on top of you and it felt like a league game tonight for me. I was disappointed with a lot of individual performances tonight, but I thought Cork were flat out and they handled the ball well, passed it about well, well organised, structure, all the things you’d expect them to do, so it was a proper test for us.