By Henry O’Donovan
Cork City came out 2-1 winners against Dundalk at Turner’s Cross on Saturday afternoon. A fast-paced, exciting game throughout, The Leesiders came away with a much deserved victory.
The home side started quick, as two minutes in Sean Maguire got in one-on-one, but his shot was blocked well by Gary Rogers and he was unable to control the rebound.
Both sides were looking to get on the ball and attack, but both struggled to find momentum in the final third
The opening goal came in the 23rd minute, and Maguire was central. Picking up the ball on the left wing and driving at the defence, he reached the by-line and squared for Karl Sheppard, who flicked the ball into the net with the outside of his right foot.
The home side were in full flow now. Sheppard carved out a chance for Stephen Dooley six minutes later, but his shot was blocked on the edge of the area.
Mark McNulty was called into action in the 34th minute, as Michael Duffy cut inside from the left and hit a low shot that McNulty did well to claw around the post.
The Leesiders got their second goal ten minutes before the interval. Maguire received the ball in the Dundalk half, turned, and played an inch perfect through ball to Sheppard. Sheppard’s first touch took him away from his marker and around the keeper, and his second put the ball in the net for his brace.
Dundalk started the second half looking to get back into the game. On 48 minutes Duffy had another chance. Again cutting inside from the left and getting a low shot away, McNulty made another good save.
Maguire had a great chance to get himself on the score sheet in the 59th minute. Played through by Gary Buckley, he looked dead set to score, until Paddy Bartlett made it back to make a last ditch tackle to block the shot.
Dundalk got their lifeline in the 73rd minute. An excellent turn and shot from the edge of the area from substitute David McMillan. The low, left footed shot found the bottom corner, just out of the reach of McNulty.
The Dundalk comeback was derailed five minutes before the end, as Ciaran Killduff saw red for a reckless tackle on Conor McCormack.
City soaked up the pressure that Dundalk applied in the five minutes of injury time and came away with the well earned victory.
Referee: Robert Rogers.