Cork City XI 1 Wolves 2: With Thursday night’s massive Europa League second leg tie against BK Hacken looming, an understrength Cork City XI went down to Championship side Wolves in last night’s friendly in front of a small crowd at Turner’s Cross.
Before the game, City manager John Caulfield advised he would be fielding a side made up of a few triallists and players who didn’t start in Sweden last Thursday.
After a super 1-1 draw with Hacken in Sweden, City have a magnificent chance of progressing to the next round and Caulfield said the crowd will have a big role to play.
“We have very passionate support and it could be a huge night for us. But at the same time, you’d be naive to think that they won’t cause us problems and that’s what we have to be well prepared for on the night,” said the City boss.
“They are used to playing in big stadiums so it will be interesting to see what they make of Turner’s Cross with the crowd right on top of the pitch.”
Greg Bolger is a major injury concern — rated only 50/50 to start on Thursday but the City manager said it’s up to his team to perform on the night.
“We keep the ball very well and have technically very good players. However we just have to make sure we are ready for it and that we leave everything on the pitch.”
Alan Bennett also can’t wait for another big European night at Turner’s Cross. “There are some excellent young players here and they are playing good football. Morale is very good,” said the big central defender.
“European nights are special occasions — you have to enjoy these moments. Europe is where this club should be every year and we should be looking to push on and progress.”
Wolves are waiting on news of a potential takeover, which frustratingly has left manager Kenny Jacket unable to sign players ahead of the new season and he started last night’s game with a few of his own youngsters.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to hit the front when young striker Niall Ennis finished from six yards in the fourth minute after some great work from Bright Enobakhare in the box.
City did have an experienced midfield and Colin Healy looked impressive as City began to come into the game and they should have been awarded a penalty when Karl Sheppard was brought down in the box by Ben O’Hanlon in the 14th minute.
Killian Coffey should have equalised but he couldn’t direct his header on target from Ian Turner’s superb free-kick midway through the half as City matched Wolves in an entertaining first half.
Enobakhare doubled the Molineux side’s advantage in the 62nd minute when he headed home Conor Ronan’s cross from close range before Caulfield made wholesale changes.
One of the substitutions Cian Coleman pulled one back when he headed home 10 minutes from time after nice play from Chidozie Ogbene on the left.
CORK CITY XI:
Connor (D Coffey 73), Khadi Harrington (Taylor 45), K Coffey, McInerney, Collinder, Turner (Gibbon 63), Healy (Donnellan 63), Holohan (Coleman 63), Sheppard (Ogbene 63), D Morrissey (McAlavey 45), Ellis (Drinan 63).
Lonergan (Ikerne 45), Odoffin (Leak 73), Hayden, Johnson, O’Hanlon, Byrne, Evans, Coady, Ronan, Ennis (Wilson 45), Enobakhare.
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