Corkbeg FC

Corkbeg Scrape Into Next Round Of County Cup

Dylan O Neill gets away from Knockrahas Michael Drinan

Corkbeg scraped past Division 3 challengers Knockraha ‘B’ by two goals to one, on an overcast Saturday afternoon in Glanmire. Extra time was needed to finally kill off a gallant effort from the underdogs, who gave a really good account of themselves, despite a very poor display from Corkbeg.

The teams were very evenly matched in the opening half and there were chances at both ends. Niall O Sullivan had two tame efforts in the opening minutes for Knockraha and Shane Bennett went close for Corkbeg early on, when he forced a decent diving save from Knockraha goalkeeper Killian Roche. Dylan O Neill twice went close with efforts that went narrowly wide for Corkbeg and he had another header cleared off the line. But, the signs were there that Corkbegs passing game wasn’t as good as it should have been and despite the gap of two divisions between the sides, it was Knockraha who could have taken a shock lead. Knockrahas Cian Browne let fly with a brilliant strike from 25 yards that looked destined for the top corner, but Corkbeg goalkeeper Eric Higgins produced an unbelievable one-handed save to divert the ball onto the crossbar and away to safety. And soon afterwards, Stephen O Hallorans wayward back-pass found its way to Knockrahas Tadgh O Leary and again, Higgins produced a fine double save to keep the game scoreless at half time.

Corkbeg were marginally better in the second half, but the performance wasn’t up to scratch, with passes going wayward all day and a lack of urgency throughout the ninety minutes. The second half was mostly played in the Knockraha half, but there was little by way of clear cut chances. Tom Smyth came close with a header that Killian Roche saved and there were long range efforts from Fred Wenham, Michael Collins, Stephen O Halloran, Dylan O Neill and Jordan Tynan that all failed to trouble Roche.

Knockraha were very well organised at the back and were able to produce a number of last ditch blocks in a hard-working performance. But finally, Corkbegs pressure paid off on 70 minutes, when Shane Bennett threaded a pass through to Jordan Tynan and he drove the ball past Roche for the opening goal. Niall O Sullivan & Michael Drinan remained a threat for Knockraha, but they never looked likely to grab an equaliser and Corkbeg looked to be stumbling to a narrow 1-0 win. Substitute Paddy O Sullivan was red carded for Knockraha with 5 minutes left, but still Corkbeg failed to kill the game off and Ozzy Mombos close range shot looped narrowly over the crossbar. The sucker punch came in the 94th minute, when Knockraha forced one final corner and when Jamie Gettings header came back off the crossbar, Niall O Sullivan knocked the ball home from a yard to force extra time.

With the extra man advantage, it was all one way traffic in extra time and Jordan Tynan, Ozzy Mombo and Dylan O Neill all went close, as the Knockraha goal led a charmed life. And as the first half drew to a close, Michael Collins drove a shot goalwards from 6 yards that struck Roche in the back of the head and looped over the crossbar. It was looking like one of those days. Finally, with only 5 minutes remaining in extra time, Corkbeg won the game. Dylan O Neill, who was dangerous all day, was fouled in the penalty area and Shane Bennett scored from the spot to ensure that Corkbeg advanced to the next round, despite a laboured, listless performance.

Corkbeg: E. Higgins, A. Horgan, T. Smyth, F. Wenham, I. Casey, S. O Halloran, S. Bennett, D. O Neill, O. Mombo, M. Collins, J. Tynan

Knockraha: K. Roche, C. Browne, Dave Gettings, S. Kavanagh, J. Gettings, Danny Gettings, M. Drinan, L. Fenton, C. Hill, N. O Sullivan, C. Healy, T. O Leary, E. Byrne, P. O Sullivan, B. O Riordan