It was a case of two points dropped for Cork City tonight, even though they came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Shamrock Rovers in a lively encounter at Richmond Park. Colin O’Brien lined out at centre back for City replacing the injured Alan Bennett, while Cillian Lordan resumed his position at right back with Neal Horgan sitting in the stands. Rovers began brightly with the first attempt on goal coming from Terry Palmer for Shamrock Rovers, who shot over the crossbar from 6 yards. City responded quickly and George O’Callghan had a shot from distance which just went over the bar. City’s best chance of the game fell to Neale Fenn when he latched onto John O’Flynn’s through ball but his shot was saved by Russell Payne in the Rovers goal. The first goal of the game came after 36 minutes when Joe Gamble’s header back to Michael Devine hit Colin O’Brien in the chest before falling kindly to Mark Rutherford who crossed for midfielder Keith O’Halloran to tap home from 3 yards. Rovers led 1-0 at the break.
City were a different team in the second half and dominated it from start to finish. Disaster almost struck for Rovers at the beginning of the second half when winger Shane Robinson almost scored an own goal, but the ball went out for a corner. City began to pile on the pressure on the Rovers defence and Joe Gamble struck twice, a long shot that just went over the bar and another shot from 25 yards that just went wide. Liam Kearney also had a lob tipped over the crossbar by the Rovers keeper. Neale Fenn also shot wide from inside the area after beating three Rovers players but was slightly off balance when shooting. Following a series of corners and sustained pressure Cork City’s deserved equaliser came after 72 minutes when City took a quick free-kick and passed to Liam Kearney (pictured right) who struck a beautiful curling shot into the top corner of the net from 30 yards. Kearney almost gave City the lead soon afterwards but he shot over from 12 yards. Rovers were hanging on near the end and almost put through their own net late on following a mis-understanding between their defender and goalkeeper. Roared on by the large City support, Pat Dolan’s men failed to find a winner despite a majestic second half performance from Neale Fenn. Both Joe Gamble and Trevor Molloy were booked late on following a minor scuffle and the referee blew for full time after three minutes of injury time.
Scorer: Liam Kearney (72mins).
Starting Line-Up: Devine, Murphy, Murray, Lordan, O’Brien, Kearney, Gamble, Doyle, O’Callaghan, Fenn, J.O’Flynn.
Subs not used: Behan, Lopes, Woods, Guthrie, Nwankwo.
Scorer: Keith O’Halloran (36mins).
Starting Line-Up: Payne, Gough, Malone, Palmer, McGuinness, O’Halloran, O’Brien, Robinson, Molloy, Grant.
Substitutions: D.Mooney for Robinson (51mins), Martin for Malone (65mins), Caffrey for Grant (85mins). Subs not used: N.Mooney, Thornton.
Referee: D. McKeon (Dublin).