Cork City fell to their fourth consecutive defeat in the SSE Airtricity League First Division as Treaty United ran out 2-1 winners in a feisty clash at the Markets Field on Friday evening.
The sides went in level at the break as Cian Coleman cancelled out Anto O'Donnell’s strike, but Matt Keane found a winner ten minutes from time to further deepen the City crisis.
Despite this being the first-ever meeting of the sides, there was real bite and it felt much like the Munster derby it was being billed as.
Treaty United are no strangers to disciplinary struggles having been reduced to ten men in three of their four SSE Airtricity First Division games to date - and City themselves were without Jack Walsh as he saw red against Shelbourne last week.
For all that the hosts’ focus has been on defensive structure in their first four games, they’ve balanced the lack of incisive attacking play with quality delivery into the box. And that was the case once again, as they opened the scoring against the run of play on the half-hour mark.
Marc Ludden’s left-footed corner found a towering Clyde O’Connell completely unmarked at the back post. The midfielder’s effort crashed against Mark McNulty’s crossbar, but the returning Anto O’Donnell was on-hand to tap in from less than a yard out.
Look at that passion 💪🔴⚪— Treaty United FC (@TreatyUnitedFC) April 23, 2021
What a performance from Treaty United tonight, we hope you enjoyed that one at home!
We can't wait to have you back soon ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ry5TwoIeiZ
But City weren’t long responding and found themselves deservedly level before the break courtesy of former Limerick midfielder Cian Coleman.
Dylan McGlade, who had been the real bright spark in the first half, dinked a clever cross from the left flank towards the edge of the six-yard box where Coleman glanced a header past Tadhg Ryan, who himself had a spell at Turners Cross.
Coleman was operating as O’Brien-Whitmarsh’s primary support and his late runs into the box, which were a huge feature of his 2018 campaign with Limerick, produced the goods once more at the Markets Field.
The sides each hit the crossbar in the opening 25 minutes of the second half and while the visitors did appear most likely, it was once again the hosts who’d take the lead against the run of play.
After some ping-pong inside the City box caused all sorts of confusion, United winger Matt Keane blasted home at the back stick to hand Treaty the lead with just over ten minutes remaining – handing the points to the still-unbeaten Limerick side on the night.
Cabinteely 1-3 Shelbourne
Shelbourne kept up the heat at the top of the table with a third win on the bounce.
Mikey O'Connor puts the visitors ahead in the 27th minute with a penalty after Shane Farrell was chopped down in the box.
Farrell made it 2-0 with a magnificent effort that dipped and swerved right into the top corner. Kevin O'Connor's 68th-minute free-kick made the game safe, with Jem Campion netting a consolation seven minutes from time.
Athlone Town 3-0 Wexford
Athlone Town stayed top of the table with a hard-earned defeat of Wexford.
Jamie Hollywood put them ahead on 18 minutes but they had to be patient to kill off the visitors.
James Doona finally gave them breathing space on 76 minutes before Shane Barnes wrapped it up two minutes from the end with an excellent finish.
Galway United 2-2 UCD
Galway United had to come from behind twice to salvage a draw against UCD.
Evan Weir put the Students ahead four minutes into first-half injury time but Ruairi Keating cancelled that in the 47th minute from close range.
A Gary Boylan own goal restored UCD's lead and it looked like that's how it would stay until Padraic Cunningham popped up in the 87th minute to equalise.