By Henry O’Donovan.
Cork City had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Dundalk at Turner’s Cross on Monday night. An 87th minute goal from Robbie Benson cancelled out a Brian Gartland own goal in the first half.
The Leesiders started quickly, going on the attack right from the kick-off. Karl Sheppard found space down the left five minutes in, but his cross was blocked wide.
The home side continued to press, and they got their reward in the 20th minute. Good build up play saw Stephen Dooley get free down the right and whip in a cross to the feet of Garry Buckley. Buckley’s shot was parried by Rodgers and, as Sean Hoare attempted to clear, the ball hit the head of Gartland and ricocheted into the net.
City continued to push forward and almost added a second 8 minutes later. Gearoid Morrissey latched onto a loose ball ten yards from goal, and his half volley produced a top class save from Rodgers.
In the 35th minute Dooley went on a jinking run in from the left and shot low from the edge of the area, which Rodgers got down well to save.
Jimmy Keohane missed a gilt edge opportunity to add a second one minute later. As the ball was played through, Keohane beat the offside trap and went through one-on-one, but his attempted chip went over the crossbar.
From the start of the second half City seemed content to sit back and absorb the visitors’ pressure, and hit them on the counter attack.
Dooley came within inches of doubling the home sides lead in the 69th minute. His free kick from a tight angle on the left hand side of the box went narrowly over the crossbar.
City’s defence held for the majority of the second half, but it was finally breached in the 87th minute. After a driving run down the left, Dylan Connolly’s cross found Benson, who coolly slotted the ball home under pressure from the City defenders.
The three minutes of additional time were not enough for City to restore their lead, and the game finished 1-1. John Caulfield’s men have to wait another week to secure the league title but the point tonight puts them one step closer.
Referee: Robert Rogers.