By Henry O’Donovan
Cork City were 2-1 winners against Galway United at Turner’s Cross on Friday night. A dominant second half performance from the Leesiders, with goals from Garry Buckley and Karl Sheppard, was enough to see off the visitors.
However it was the Galway that struck first. 6 minutes in Galway put a long throw into the box that City failed to clear. The ball fell to Gavan Holohan on the edge of the area and, jockeying a challenge from Alan Bennett, he made his way into the box before striking a low, left footed shot into the bottom right corner.
City responded well, taking control of possession, but for the rest of the half they struggled to find the killer ball to open up the Galway defence.
In the 25th minute Steven Beattie went close with a shot from distance, narrowly high and wide of Conor Winn’s goal.
Stephen Dooley looked to have gotten the equalizer in the 29th minute. He latched onto an under struck back pass and rounded the keeper, but his touch was too heavy, forcing him wide as the chance disappeared.
The home side continued to apply the pressure but they were unable to level the score before the end of the first half.
City started the second half the way they ended the first. Karl Sheppard had two chances in the space of two minutes early on. The first came in the 49th minute as he got free down the right and drove into the box, before smashing a low shot off the legs of Winn. The second saw him receive the ball on the right before cutting inside and shooting with his left foot. His effort was over the bar.
The equalizer came ten minutes into the second half. Garry Buckley picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and hit a low drive into the bottom corner of the Galway goal.
The home side continued to press. Two minutes after the goal Sheppard’s cross from the right found Dooley, but his volley was straight at the keeper.
Buckley and substitute Achille Campion both went close with headers just after the hour mark. Buckley rose to meet the ball at the back post, but his effort was well saved by Winn. Two minutes later a great cross from Sheppard found the head of Campion, but his diving header soared over the bar.
The winner came in the 68th minute. A measured cross from Gearoid Morrissey found the head of Sheppard and he deftly flicked the ball over the keeper. On the way to the net the ball took a heavy deflection but there’s no doubt Sheppard will claim the goal.
City continued to push forward after the goal and had another chance in the 73rd minute. A great dribble from Buckley saw him beat two defenders before toe poking narrowly wide.
City had two glorious chances late on to put the game to bed. Both came from break aways as Galway looked to nick a draw. The first saw Sheppard rob the ball from a defender and sprint through one on one. Sheppard went himself, with Campion pleading for the ball to be squared, and his shot was inches wide of the post.
The second chance was also from a break away, this time through substitute Connor Ellis. He broke away down the left and once into the box he picked out Sheppard, whose shot was straight at Winn.
Galway almost rescued it right at the death. Lee Grace got on the end of a Ronan Murray free kick, but his diving header bounced off the post.
Referee: Seán Grant.