Three thousand watch Treaty United battle to draw with Cork City

Treaty United earn draw against Cork City.

With last week’s away trip to Longford Town postponed, Treaty United were afforded the chance to play back-to-back games at the Markets Field.

The Garryowen ground has been a happy place for Treaty so far this season, but then again the same could be said about every stadium they’ve stepped foot in.

The opening night’s 3-1 triumph over Cobh Ramblers thrilled a hopping main stand and then, three weeks later and six points better off, Barrett’s Blues returned to earn a hard-fought point against Bray Wanderers under the same floodlights.

This Friday’s contest in front of 3,146 fans was expected to be a different challenge altogether, but after 22 minutes, and to many people’s surprise, it was Treaty who looked the stronger of the two sides.

Greg Bolger – once of Stephen Bradley’s Shamrock Rovers and Evan McLaughlin – once of Ruardhri Higgins’ Derry City, looked no match for the home midfield partnership of Lee Devitt and Mark Walsh in the opening quarter.

Elsewhere, Yoyo Mahdy proved a handful up front with his strength and movement, as too did his strike partner David Tarmey before going off injured in the 25th minute to be replaced by the more experienced Enda Curran.

Cork chances.

Tom Considine, always a handful on the right touchline, also helped give the hosts the edge for much of the first half but the momentum shifted when one of his crosses was picked up by Cork City around the half hour mark, leading to a rare counter-attack.

And moments later there was another Cork threat. This time McLaughlin’s razor sharp strike from the lip of the Treaty box was brilliantly saved by Corey Chambers between the sticks.

Suddenly under the cosh against the strongest side in the league, Treaty needed to dig deep. But with young talents like Robbie Lynch playing beyond their years, winning pressure-relieving free-kicks and swinging momentum when needed, Barrett’s men were well able to climb their way back out of any deepening holes.

Come the 42nd minute, the play was concentrated around the visitors’ box again. When the ball fell for Curran so close to the Cork City goal there was a chance to take the lead but the experienced striker’s effort was ultimately turned away for a corner.

Second half scramble.

If Treaty fans were pleased with their team at the break then morale was even higher ten minutes into the second half.

Stephen Christopher beat his man high and wide on the left-wing and tried to find Curran. Cork defended at the expense of a corner and very nearly a little bit more.

Then in the following passage, Treaty shots poured down on the Cork goal like Garryowen rain but each time they were blocked, and blocked well. Five minutes later it was more of the same.

Good work from Considine had Cork scrambling and follow-up shots had Tim Clancy’s side hanging on until Mark Walsh blasted one over from range.

It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Cork showed their teeth with a trio of half-threatening breaks downfield. Bolger’s passing range was always an asset for City in transition but their forward line failed to mirror his productivity when given the chance.

Before long Treaty were back in familiar territory, shaping up for corners and nearly scoring with scruffy headers. Chances but half chances.

That was until the 87th minute when there was much more than a half chance. Stephen Christopher was freed by teenager Sean Costelloe but, with only the keeper to beat, he failed to aim his shot on target from an awkward angle.

Body on the line action was required by Treaty United in added time. Brave and determined, the tough Treaty defence stood firm to deny the favourites to the biter end.

If ever there was a performance to turbocharge team spirit and togetherness, this was it.

FT: Treaty United 0-0 Cork City

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