Cork City turned around a 1-0 deficit to leave Sligo with all three points. The Leesiders have opened up a 16-point gap at the top of the table.
John Caulfield’s plans were disrupted shortly before kick-off. Conor McCormack returned to the starting eleven in place of Karl Sheppard who had been struggling with a recurring knee injury in recent weeks. Garry Buckley then had to withdraw from the squad after an injury picked up in the warm up. Sheppard took his place, while Steven Beattie then appeared on the substitutes list.
After a bright start, City found themselves a goal behind after 22 minutes. Alan Bennett was penalised for fouling Liam Martin in the box and he picked up a yellow card in the process. Kieran Sadlier made no mistake and scored his second of the season against City from the spot.
City did have the ball in the net just before the break, but it was ruled out for a foul. Mark McNulty pulled off two great saves to keep Sligo’s lead to just one goal.
The away side dominated the remainder of the game after the restart. After a barrage of attacks, Kyle Callan-McFadden brought down Sheppard in the box to give City a penalty of their own. Uncharacteristically, Sean Maguire sent his spot kick wide as he was unable to add to his 13-goal tally.
The City boss introduced Achille Campion just after the hour mark – and it wasn’t long before City reaped the rewards. Johnny Dunleavy whipped the ball in from the right and Campion was on hand to tap the ball home from 6 yards. His first of the season, Achille’s goal set the tone for what would be a dramatic closing 20 minutes.
The pressure mounted on Sligo with City pushing for that all-important goal and the elusive three points. Kevin O’Connor has shown his prowess from free kicks this season, but he surprised everyone with his spectacular winner. O’Connor whipped a corner kick in from the left and the ball eluded everyone, including goalkeeper Mícheál Schlingermann, and it ended up in the back of the net.
City were comfortable in the closing stages with a third goal looking likely but Caulfield and team will be satisfied with the three points.
Next up for the Rebel Army is the visit of Shamrock Rovers to Turner’s Cross this Friday, May 26th. Kick off is at 7.45pm. You won’t want to miss this.
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
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