Goals from Vinny Sullivan and Shane Duggan rescued a valuable point for Cork City on Friday night as they came back from two goals down to secure a late 2-2 with Derry City.
Photography: Blink of an Eye
Tommy Dunne made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Shamrock Rovers last time out before the mid-season break – Ian Turner coming into midfield for the suspended John Dunleavy with Danny Murphy returning to the team at the expense of Tadhg Purcell.
A great ball from Stephen McLaughlin – which was finished with aplomb by Rory Patterson – had the visitors ahead on ten minutes. Turner might have got his side back on level terms almost immediately but, having found himself in one-on-one against the Candystipes stopper, it was Ger Doherty who came out on top with a decent save.
The men in red and white stripes extended their advantage 13 minutes later as Ruaidhri Higgins and Owen Morrison combined to set Patterson free once again, and he beat the close attention of Gavin Kavanagh to collect his second goal of the night.
Dunne’s men should have pulled a goal back within a minute – good work from Turner allowed Sullivan force another save from Doherty, before Davin O’Neill sent the rebounce wide of the keeper’s post with an empty net calling.
Purcell replaced O’Neill early in the second half as the home side renewed their efforts to make an impression on their opponents. Stewart Greacen saw red – after being shown a second yellow – for a tackle on Purcell on the hour mark, reducing the Candystripes to ten men. Dunne introduced U19’s starlet Stephen Kenny in response and the chances soon followed.
Doherty saved from Purcell and then Turner before watching an effort from Daryl Horgan sail narrowly wide. The pressure began to tell, and the hosts eventually made the break through with nine minutes remaining – Sullivan curling an effort beyond Doherty’s reach after being put through by Purcell.
The teams were level four minutes later when Duggan charged into the box and fired home from 12 yards and Colin Healy – pushed back into midfield following the introduction of Neal Horgan – might even have claimed a late winner when Doherty tipped his injury-time free kick just over the bar.
The result moved City up to seventh in the Premier Division with an important trip to Bray on the horizon next week.
Cork City: McNulty; Healy, Kavanagh (Kenny ‘71), Spillane, Murphy; Turner, Morrissey (N Horgan ‘82), Duggan, D Horgan, O’Neill (Purcell ‘54); Sullivan.
Subs: Burns, O’Connell, Murray, Lordan.
Derry City: Doherty; Madden, Greacen, McBride, McCaffrey; McDaid, Higgins, McEleney, McLaughlin; Morrison (McCallion ‘62), Patterson.
Subs: Ferry, Curran, Barr, McNamee, McNamee, Henry.
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin).