A hat-trick from midfielder Shane Duggan helped Cork City Football Club to their first-ever win as they overcame Mervue United at Turner’s Cross in the Airtricity League Division 1 on Friday night.
It was a well-deserved victory for Tommy Dunne’s side as they were clearly the better team and possessed far more of an attacking threat. Indeed, despite the half-time scoreline being 1-1, City should have been in front as they were unlucky on a number of occasions not to find the net.
At the back they were solid for the most part, mainly restricting the visitors mainly to long-range efforts and set-pieces, from whence their first goal came, while the midfield trio of Cathal Lordan, Cillian Lordan and Duggan was on top throughout, even more so after the dismissal of Mervue’s Ollie Keogh seven minutes into the second half.
Graham Cummins, who scored his first goal for the club, was always dangerous up front, and the goal was no more than he deserved for his efforts.
Tommy Dunne made two changes to the team from the draw away to Athlone Town last Saturday, with player-assistant manager Greg O’Halloran, back from suspension, coming in for Ian Turner with Stephen Mulcahy moving to right-back, while Eoin Forde replaced William Heffernan on the left of the City attack.
From the off, they offered far more of an attacking initiative and in the 18th minute they took the lead. After O’Halloran found Davin O’Neill in space on the right with a great crossfield ball, his cross was met by Cummins, who headed in from close range.
With the home faithful serenading the in-single-figures visiting support with “You’re not singing anymore”, it looked as if it would be plain sailing. Keogh showed that Mervue would not be lying down however when he headed over from a Rory Gaffney corner, and it was from another corner on 25 that they equalised, Eric Browne at the back post to convert Dan Cunningham’s delivery.
For the remainder of the half, City would regain the upper hand, O’Neill forcing a good save from Ger Hanley after a Cathal Lordan free from the right, while the same player was then unfortunate not to get of a touch on a Duggan corner.
Forde and Cummins both went close before the half-time whistle but the goal to retake the lead couldn’t be found before the break.
It took only six minutes of the second half to fashion that goal though, and an excellent one it was, Cathal Lordan with a lovely through ball for Duggan which split the defence, and Duggan’s low left-footed shot beat Hanley.
Only a minute later, the away side’s Keogh saw red after an altercation when he seemed to attempt to headbutt Cillian Lordan only for referee John McLoughlin to get in the way.
Though they were not getting too many chances, Mervue were still in it, Dave Rogers having to do well to cut out a Rory Gaffney ball intended for David O’Dowd on 61, but midway through the half City extended the lead.
Duggan it was again who finished off the move, playing a lovely one-two with Cummins on the edge of the area and coolly slotting home. He attempted to repay the favour eight minutes later when playing Cummins in, but his shot was just wide of the post.
Despite this miss, they still looked to be safe, but Mervue sub Enda Curran ensured that it would be an interesting last 10 mintues when he headed home from a Kevin Crehan cross.
They did have a few half-chances, but the game was put to bed in the 86th minute, Cathal Lordan again setting up Duggan to complete his hat-trick and round off a good night for the club.
CORK CITY FORAS CO-OP: McNulty; Mulcahy, O’Halloran, Rogers, Hojan (Turner 77); Cathal Lordan, Cillian Lordan, Duggan; O’Neill, Cummins (Deasy 76), Forde.
MERVUE UNITED: Hanley; Varley, Browne, O’Rourke, Ludden (Lee 73); Barrett (Curran 65), Keogh, Crehan, Cunningham (Burke 73); O’Dowd, Gaffney.
Referee: J McLoughlin.
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