Rampant City pile the pressure on Kenna

JEFF KENNA has admitted to feeling the pressure as St Patrick’s Athletic slipped to a seventh defeat in eight matches when showing little resistance on Saturday night against a Cork City side who notched their biggest win of the season.

City are now level on points with leaders Bohemians and had they continued the way they began a game that they managed to wrap up with just 33 minutes gone, they would have been top today.

Meanwhile, their beleaguered hosts had to fend off queries as to the decision of absent chief executive Richard Sadlier to opt for a shift as a Sky Sports pundit, watching his former club, Millwall, turn over Leeds United 1-0 in the League One play-off semi-final first leg.

“I have to feel under pressure,” said Kenna afterwards. “It’s a results business and we’re not getting them. The longer it goes on, the more pressure I will feel. But that’s the business. I came into it with my eyes open and I have to accept the criticism when it’s not going well.

“On current form it is (a relegation battle). I don’t believe that will be the case but the table doesn’t lie. At the moment our form is deplorable, the longer that goes on, it will end up being a relegation battle.”

Two Colin Healy corners set up a quick opening brace for the visitors, Denis Behan and Greg O’Halloran taking advantage of slack marking in the 14th and 18th minutes respectively.

It got better for the away side in the 33rd minute, when Healy was once again setting up the eventual goalscorer, although the class of Faz Kuduzovic’s finish made it easy to forget that the former Irish international had continued a flowing move as the ball was swept from the right flank to the left. When it got to the Bosnian-born striker, his second touch allowed him take the ball on to his right foot. With time for a quick look, he found the far corner too hard to resist, floating a dipping shot past the stranded Gary Rogers.

Five minutes later, Kuduzovic found himself on the end of a ludicrous challenge from former Drogheda United team-mate Stuart Byrne, which earned the Pat’s midfielder a straight red card.

“It was a rash tackle,” conceded Kenna afterwards. “I don’t think he was ever going to get the ball. Sometimes you might get away with it but it was a red card. It was frustration but we just can’t have that. Cork are a top outfit, to try and get anything off them with 10 is nigh-on impossible.”

Indeed, City stopper Dan Connor didn’t have a save of note after his side eased into that three-goal lead, the Leesiders contenting themselves with retaining possession. Doolin, who refused to be drawn on Byrne’s tackle – the pair fell out at Drogheda – played down any notions of a title challenge as premature with third-placed Derry City due at Turner’s Cross next Friday.

“We have 22 points out of the last 24 and no matter what league you’re in, that’s excellent. Most of the results have been on the road which is fantastic,” said Doolin. “It’s only a new group of players, plus I’m new and Tommy’s new, and we still have a bit of work to do but it’s been great.

“I couldn’t even tell you where we’ll be at the end of the season but what I would say is, at the moment (the players) are certainly showing that consistency but there are 25 games to go. It takes a little bit of time… I’m there three months. I’m only really getting to know the players but they’ve been great from day one. It hasn’t been easy for me going down there, a lot of things had to be done and still have to be done. Hopefully we go on but you just don’t know. I feel the players are getting back to where they were.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC (4-4-2): G Rogers; S Maher, J Gavin (capt), N Haverty, D Ryan; G O’Connor, A Cawley, M Quigley, S Byrne; K Moran (E Stevens 79), R Guy.

CORK CITY (4-4-3): D Connor; P Sullivan, G O’Halloran (K Long 87), D Murray, D Murphy; C Lordan, J Gamble, C Healy, G Silagailis (Kiely 79), F Kuduzovic (A O’Connor 83), D Behan.

Referee: Richie Winter (Dublin).

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd