Match Reports

FAI Cup: Sligo 2-3 CCFC

FAI Cup: Sligo 2-3 CCFC

A late goal from substitute Dale Holland produced the shock of the round in the FAI Cup First Round as Cork City defeated highflying Sligo Rovers in the Showgrounds on Sunday.

Romeo Parks had given the hosts the lead early on, before goals from Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Dylan McGlade put City in front.

Parkes got his second to level the contest but Holland ensure that City are in the hat for the second round.

City made one change from the side that drew to Wexford last weekend, with Josh Honohan coming into the team for his first start of the season, replacing Gearoid Morrissey.

There was a debutant in the City squad, with academy graduate Sean Kennedy named among the substitutes.

Although Kennedy is originally from Kerry, City had signed the 19-year-old from English side Sunderland.

Sligo’s starting 11 included Greg Bolger and Garry Buckley, both of whom had won the competition with City.

Considering the season both clubs are having, the game begun as expected.

Sligo were seeing most of the ball and City were keeping a good defensive shape.

Sligo’s top scorer Jordon Gibson was particular looking threatening for the hosts and a few half-chances early on.

Sligo didn’t have to wait long to take the lead. A looping ball into the City area from the middle of the pitch, should have been a routine catch for City goalkeeper Mark McNulty but the 40-year-old spilt the ball and Parkes was left with the simplest of finishes to give the home side the lead on the 13th minute.

Although City had offered very little offensively in the game up to that point, they were comfortable defensively.

As the half grew, it was easy to tell which side was the Premier Division team and which was the side that were struggling at the foot of the First Division.

Sligo were dominating possession, with City struggling to get out of their half. Liam Buckley’s side were a different level to what City have faced this year, moving the ball at a much quicker tempo than what City have been used to.

City first spell of any real possession came close to the half hour mark and they were rewarded for it.

O’Brien-Whitmarsh drew the sides level after some excellent build-up play from Colin Healy’s team.

City made a string of passes before Cian Murphy was released down the left and his cross was met by O’Brien-Whitmarsh, who smartly finished.

Sligo should have retaken the lead moments later but wastefully missed a great opportunity.

Gibson then called McNulty into action on the stroke of half-time but the City keeper was equal to the Sligo player’s speculative effort.

Despite going behind early on, and seeing little of the ball, there were a lot of positives from the half for City.

They kept an excellent defensive shape. Every player knew the game plan and worked for one another.

They showed great character to get back into the game, and their goal, demonstrated that there is quality in this side.

City took the lead ten minutes into the second half. Murphy was brought down in the penalty area from a clumsy challenge.

McGlade stepped up, and sent Luke McNicholas the wrong way from the spot.

As much as Sligo defence looked comfortable in possession, they were vulnerable defensively and City were causing problems on every occasion that they did go forward with quality.

Sligo grew frustrated after conceding but were level 15 minutes later.

Parkes got his, and his team’s second goal of the game on the 70th minute after latching onto a through ball from Bolger and neatly finished past McNulty.

Holland scored what turned out to be the winner with moments remaining firing past McNicholas from outside the penalty area after a layoff from Cian Coleman, who was excellent on the night.

City are back in league action next against UCD on Friday night.

Referee: Rob Harvey.

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