Report by Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Sean Kennedy's first goal for Cork City gave Colin Healy’s men a sensational victory away to Galway United in a five-goal thriller at Eamonn Deacy Park.
Dylan McGlade and Darragh Crowley also got on the scoresheet for the visitors, while Wilson Waweru and Killian Brouder scored for the home side, who are among the top sides in the First Division.
City made two changes from the side that drew with UCD last weekend. Alec Byrne returned from injury to replace recent signing Aaron Bolger, and Gordon Walker was back in the starting 11 for the first time in four matches instead of Jonas Hakkinen, who missed the game after picking up a head injury against UCD.
Galway, who are managed by former City player and manager John Caulfield, had some familiar faces in their line-up with former City players Gary Boylan and Conor McCormack, along with Cork native David Hurley, in the Tribesmen’s starting 11.
City made a quick start to the contest with topscorer Cian Murphy getting a chance on goal within the opening minute but failed to hit the target.
Galway came into the game as the form team in the league, winning six of their previous seven league games, and Waweru had their first sight on goal but his header was saved by Mark McNulty.
City deservingly took the lead on the 15th minute.
McGlade, who began the game brightly, picked the ball up on the left-hand side of the pitch and fainted past the Galway defence before driving the ball beyond Conor Kearns in the Galway goal.
Galway responded positively, with Waweru again testing McNulty, but the City keeper was equal to the striker’s effort. From the resulting corner, Ruairi Keating was guilty of missing a free header.
It was third time lucky for Waweru in the 24th minute, when he got on the end of a long throw into the City area, to level the game.
City were back in front two minutes later. Ronan Hurley sent an excellent low ball across the Galway box, which Kearns couldn’t reach, and Crowley was on hand to score his second goal of the season.
McNulty somehow managed to keep Hurley’s effort out five minutes before the interval to maintain City’s lead, but Galway were level within a minute of the save. City’s vulnerability at set-pieces was exposed again when Brouder headed Galway’s second equaliser from his team’s corner.
As the half-time whistle blew, City would have been disappointed to have conceded so late on. Healy’s side looked threatening in attack but struggled defensively at set-pieces. McGlade was City’s most impressive player and looked dangerous throughout the half.
Although he will be disappointed to have conceded two goals, McNulty was having one of his best games this season.
Galway started the better of the sides after the interval, with Caulfield’s team forcing City to defend several set-pieces in the opening minutes of the half.
The Rebel Army will feel aggrieved not to have been given a penalty after Cian Coleman’s header appeared to strike the arm of a Galway defender but referee Michael Connolly was not convinced even after it had appeared that the linesman had raised his flag to award a penalty.
As the half proceeded, Galway started to dominate the game and were the side looking the most likely to score. McNulty parried Shane Doherty’s effort into the path of Keating but the City keeper showed great bravery to deny Galway’s top scorer.
City regained the lead when Kennedy finished neatly after Walker’s pullback.
Referee: Michael Connolly.[event_performance 110752]