Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie | Photo: Doug Minihane
Cork City’s cup hopes have ended as they were knocked out of the FAI Cup second round to St Patrick’s Athletic at Turners Cross on Friday night in a dramatic penalty shootout.
Chris Forrester had given Pats the lead in the 90th minute of normal time before Barry Coffey levelled proceedings to send it to extra time, but Coffey and Darragh Crowley were unable to convert their penalties in the shootout sending St Pat’s through to the third round.
It was an aggressive start by City. Colin Healy’s players showed St Pat’s little respect and pressed the Premier Division side high up the pitch out of possession.
Pats demonstrated little quality in the opening stages and it was City who looked the most threatening of the two teams.
City came close to taking the lead after Heaven was able to get his head on the end of a Barry Coffey corner-kick, but he saw his effort go just wide of Viteslav Jaros’ goal.
As the first half reached it’s latter stage, Pat’s registered the first shot on target in the match on the 40th minute. Jason McLelland created space in the City penalty area before forcing Mark McNulty into making a smart save from the left-back.
City created two opportunities of their own before the half-time whistle. Firstly, Coffey saw his tame effort safely gather by Jaros, before Murphy shot straight at the keeper from inside the penalty area.
The first half was limited of any clear-cut chances for both teams. Healy would have been the happier of the managers in the dressing rooms at half-time. City played at a much higher intensity than their counterparts and looked the more motivated of the two sides.
City were excellent out of possession and starved former player Ronan Coughlan of getting any quality service into him. When the ball did reach Coughlan, City’s new centre-back pairing of Cian Coleman and Heaven comfortably dealt with the striker.
In attack, Murphy’s pace was causing Pats problems. Coffey and Alec Byrne looked comfortable in the middle of the pitch against the Dubliner’s three-man midfield.
City had the first chance after the interval with a speculative effort from McGlade almost finding its way into the top-corner but he was denied by the stretching arm of Jaros.
Former City player Shane Griffin was on hand to deny Murphy what seemed to be an effort destined to hit the back of the net with an excellent defensive block.
Griffin almost gifted City the lead moments later but Murphy could not take advantage of the defender’s careless pass.
City continued to pile the pressure on Pats with Jaros spilling Byrne’s half-volleyed effort, however, City were unable to capitalise on the goalkeeper’s error.
With five minutes remaining, Ben McCormack forced McNulty into making an excellent stop from the Pats’ substitute.
Pats thought they had won the game in the 90th minute when Forrester converted from the penalty spot after McCormack was brought to ground by Heaven.
However, the drama wasn’t done there, and Coffey got his side level deep into injury time, tapping home from close range to send the game to extra time. It was no more than City deserved after being the better of the sides in normal time.
Griffin went close to giving Pats the lead in extra time but fortunately for City, his deflected strike went just over the crossbar.
Pat's looked the most dangerous of the teams in extra time but neither side could find the breakthrough to prevent the game from going to penalties.
Referee: Derek Tomney.[event_performance 113116]