Unbeaten in the League since April, Cork City picked up another point at Turner’s Cross on Friday with a 0-0 draw against rivals from 2011, Shelbourne. It might have been an even better evening for Tommy Dunne’s men though as they dominated most of the encounter and missed a host of chances to walk away with all three points. New boy Keigan Parker was also sent off in the final minutes of the contest.
Dunne made two changes from the side that played out a 2-2 with League leaders Sligo Rovers the previous Sunday with both Kevin and Dan Murray starting at centre half in place of Gaving Kavanagh and Kalen Spillane.
Shels’ Philly Hughes headed wide at the back post early on before the home team conjured up their first chance with 20 minutes gone. Danny Murphy and Daryl Horgan combined to feed Ian Turner; however, the 23-year-old could only nod his opportunity over the bar.
The versatile defender, who has been playing his football on the right of midfield for most of this season, came close again minutes later – this time the assist came from Davin O’Neill – and the latter then fired the ball into the side netting from a difficult angle on the half hour mark.
Horgan and O’Neill kept Shels keeper Chris Bennion on this toes for the reminder of the half, but the sides went in level at the break despite all of Cork’s intent and possession.
Mark McNulty tipped a Lorcan Fitzgerald free-kick over the bar at the beginning of the second half and most of the 2,689-strong crowd were on the feet when Shane Duggan seemingly broke the deadline with 50 minutes on the clock. Both the Limerick man and Horgan broke quickly but despite being under little pressure after being fed by the winger, Duggan planted his effort just wide – rustling the side netting in the process.
The chances continued for both sides in what was an open game of football. Stephen Hurley saw an effort drift inches wide after John Dunleavy was caught in possession on 66 minutes while substitute Parker had a chance to impress for City after his introduction but sent his effort well over.
Kevin Dawson tried an effort from distance as the game entered its final minutes but there was still time for referee Padraig Sutton to show Parker red after both he and Brian Shortall ended up on the ground after a tussle.
Next up: City with a journey to Oriel Park and Dundalk this coming Friday.
Cork City: McNulty; Healy, K Murray, D Murray, D Murphy; Turner (Kenny ’90 +1), Duggan, Dunleavy, Horgan; O’Neill (O’Connell 90+2), Sullivan (Parker ‘70).
Subs: Browne, Spillane, Kavanagh, Buckley.
Shelbourne: Bennion; Fitzgerald, Shortall, Boyle, S Byrne; C Byrne, Hurley, Dawson, Clancy; Gorman, Hughes (Kavanagh ‘65).
Subs: Delany, Cassidy, P Byrne, McGill, Murphy, Ryan.