By Henry O’Donovan
Cork City were 1-0 losers to Sligo Rovers at Turner’s Cross on Friday night. A goal from Rhys MaCabe 5 minutes into the second half was enough to secure victory for the visitors and stall City’s march to the league title.
City started well, having the majority of possession in the opening 10 minutes. The first shot came in the 8th minute as Kieran Sadlier cut inside from the left and shot from distance, but his effort found the side netting.
Sligo had the next attempt on goal on the quarter hour mark, as Raffaele Cretaro had a shot from 25 yards go narrowly wide of thee left upright.
Sadlier had an effort similar to his first in the 17th minute, dribbling in from the left, but this time he pulled the shot wide of the goal.
Sligo went close in the 22nd minute, as Vinny Faherty reached a cross from the right with a diving header, but Mark McNulty was behind it all the way and collected it easily.
Gearóid Morrissey had two efforts in three minutes. The first, in the 26th minute, came from a driving run through the middle of the park, but he was off balance when he finally took the shot and it went harmlessly wide. The second attempt came in the 29th minute, as he latched onto a loose ball at the edge of the penalty area, but his half volley flew over the crossbar.
The best chance of the half came for the Leesiders in the 38th minute. Good interplay between Greg Bolger and Jimmy Keohane saw the latter slip a through ball to Karl Sheppard down the right. Driving in from the right, Sheppard reached the 6 yard box, before shooting narrowly wide across the face of goal.
John Caulfield’s men started quickly after the interval. In the 47th minute Garry Buckley picked up the ball within shooting distance of the Sligo goal, and his curling right footed shot hitt the foot of the visitors’ post.
The decisive moment of the game came two minutes later. McCabe found a yard of space on the left wing and his attempted cross looped over McNulty and into the City net.
City pushed hard for an equaliser but the Sligo defence held strong. In the 71st minute Keohane had a speculative volley from 35 yards out, but it was well over the crossbar.
Keohane came within inches of the equaliser in the 83rd minute. A Shane Griffin cross from the left found Keohane’s head, but his header crashed off the crossbar.
City continued to push for the equaliser, but it wasn’t to come. The Sligo defensive wall held, despite Craig Roddan being sent off for a second yellow card in the 4th minute of additional time.
Referee: Ray Matthews.