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Finn Harps 0-1 City

Cork City got their league campaign off to a perfect start with a 1-0 win against Finn Harps at Finn Park tonight.  Seán Maguire bagged the all-important goal just before half time.

The game, which only went ahead after a number of pitch inspections during the day, got underway as the rain fell in Finn Park.

The conditions did not make things easy for either side but it was City who had the first effort in anger, when the ball fell for Stephen Dooley on the edge of the box 7 minutes in, but he shot well over. City were beginning to take control of proceedings and Maguire found himself in a good position on the quarter hour but the keeper got down well to save at his feet.

City were on top now, and they were probing for the opener, with O’Connor firing straight at the keeper on 27 after the ball dropped for him. The home side were still in the game though and they reminded City of the threat they posed on the half hour, as a free kick into the box landed in a good area but nobody could make a telling intervention.

City’s pressure eventually told right on the cusp of half time, as Sean Maguire intervened to give them the lead. A ball into the box looked destined to come to nothing but Maguire was alive to the situation and he showed great awareness and composure to give his side the lead.

City started the second half as they has ended the first and a Kevin O’Connor corner two minutes in caused a scramble in the box but was eventually cleared.

As they had in the first, Harps again reminded City that they posed a threat as McAleer’s well-struck effort was parried by McNulty on 57 minutes.

The away side were looking increasingly comfortable as the half wore on but, on 75 minutes, there were two key incidents in quick succession. First, McCormack was denied a second for City by a fine save from the keeper and, as Harps countered, a foul resulted in Garry Buckley being shown a second yellow and a red card.

With City down to ten, the home side sought to push forward but they met with a resolute display from John Caulfield’s side in the City boss’s 100th league game at the helm. Indeed, Caulfield’s men could have sealed it on 88 as a fine through ball by Dooley put Maguire through only for his effort to hit the post before a defenders clearance was blocked by the striker and the rebound again hit the frame of the goal. Despite some late Harps pressure, City held firm to get the season underway with a win.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Ciaran Coll, Kilian Cantwell, Ethan Boyle; Jonny Bonner, Caolon McAleer, Sean Houston (Paddy McCourt 68), Barry Molloy (Gareth Harkin76); Ciaran O’Connor, Danny Morrissey (Eddie Dsane 76).
Subs not used: Packie Mailey, Mickey Funston, Tommy McMonagle, Harry Doherty.
Booked: McNulty (12), Cantwell (35), O’Connor (45).

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Johnny Dunleavy, Ryan Delaney, Conor McCormack, Kevin O’Connor; Jimmy Keohane, Garry Buckley, Greg Bolger (Karl Sheppard 68), Gearoid Morrissey, Stephen Dooley (Alan Bennett 89); Sean Maguire.
Subs not used: Alan Smith, Achille Campion, Steven Beattie, Connor Ellis, Shane Griffin.
Booked: Bolger (34), Buckley (56, 71), O’Connor (67).

Referee: Robert Harvey

Attendance: 1,845

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