By Henry O’Donovan
Cork City won a hard earned 2-1 victory against Sligo Rovers at Turners Cross on Friday night.
The home side started quick, with Garry Buckley shooting just wide from the edge of the penalty area in the 6th minute. Karl Sheppard had a shot one minute later, but his effort curled over the crossbar. The first quarter of an hour was competitive but it was the home side that carved out the clearer opportunities.
In the 21st minute, good interplay between Sean Maguire and Jimmy Keohane found Steven Beattie free in the box. His shot looked destined for the net, but Shaun Patton produced a top class save at full stretch to keep the score level.
The Leesider’s had another great chance to take the lead a minute later, when Johnny Dunleavy found himself free on the end of a Beattie corner, but his header was wide of the post.
The home side put together a great move on the half hour mark. Great interplay between Maguire and Beattie saw the latter whip the ball into the box. It came to Sheppard, who played a one-two with Buckley, but his shot was blocked.
It wasn’t all one way traffic though. In the 33rd minute Jonah Ayunga went on a driving run at the home sides defence, beating two players. His powerful shot from the edge of the area drew a top class fingertip save from Mark McNulty.
The visitors started the second half in similar fashion, as Kieran Sadlier curled a shot from the edge of the box which had McNulty stretching to tip the ball over the bar.
City pressed forward, but it was Sligo who broke the deadlock three minutes after the hour mark. A mistake at the back saw Sadlier pounce on the ball and slot home into the far corner to give the visitors the lead.
The Leesiders hit back straight from the kick off. A long ball forward was flicked on by substitute Achille Campion into the path of Beattie. Beattie took the ball and smashed into the roof of the net for the equalizer.
The home side continued to press for the winner and they got the goal 16 minutes from the end. A punt forward from McNulty bounced over the defence and fell to the feet of Maguire. One on one with Patton, Maguire stayed cool and slipped the ball underneath the keeper to give the Leesiders the lead.
City controlled possession from this point, only creating one more chance before the final whistle. In the third minute of additional time Beattie threaded the ball through to substitute Conor Ellis, who hit the post from a tight angle.
Referee: Seán Grant.