Cork City returned to winning ways tonight, courtesy of a 1-0 victory at United Park.
City, having suffered their first league defeat of the season on Monday night, began the game well and could have hit the front inside 60 seconds, as Connor Ellis ran on to a
Stephen Dooley pass and rounded the keeper only to fire wide from a tight angle.
John Caulfield’s men continued their good start, working their way into some promising positions but the home side fashioned an excellent chance inside the quarter hour as Byrne drove a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area. The away side continued to have the better of the chances though and, after forcing a number of corners, Alan Bennett saw his header scrambled away on 25 minutes.
They came even closer a minute later, as Karl Sheppard drilled the ball across from the right and Ellis saw his effort strike the post. Sheppard himself then went close as he controlled a centre from Beattie, turned and saw his shot beaten away by the keeper.
The chances continued to come City’s way and Sheppard again crossed for Ellis, who showed good composure but could not generate the power in his shot to test the goalkeeper. As the referee blew for half time, City had looked the more likely but it remained scoreless.
City finally broke the deadlock on 54 minutes; a ball forward was flicked on by Ellis and Dooley showed persistence and composure to beat a defender and then slot the ball underneath the onrushing McGuinness to give his side the lead.
Ellis nearly added to his assist with a goal of his own moments later, as he burst in behind the defence but the keeper was down smartly to gather at his feet. It was all City now and Dooley was next to try his luck, as he turned cleverly only to fire just wide. Kieran Sadlier had joined the fray as a second half substitute and he had his first City goal in his sights within his first five minutes on the pitch, as a clever ball by Buckley put him in on goal but the defence reacted smartly to deny him a shot on goal.
As the game moved into the final quarter hour, the home side began to push in search of an equaliser but City continued to pose a real threat on the counter, with Dooley and Campion both spurning chances to double the lead. Into injury time and City could have sealed it after good work by Sadlier found Keohane who rattled the crossbar, before Campion put Sadlier clear only for McGuinness to deny him again. With that, the final whistle sounded and Dooley’s goal proved to be enough to get City back to winning ways.
Referee: Robert Hennessy.