Cork City FC picked up another point on the road on Bank Holiday Monday, but suffered more late heartbreak during a 1-1 draw with Drogheda United at Hunky Dorys Park.
Ahead for most of the game on the back of a first-half strike from Shane Duggan, Tommy Dunne’s men conceded a penalty minutes from time to allow Declan O’Brien level matters just before the full-time whistle.
Photography from POSe Photo
Suspension and injury concerns forced Dunne into a number of changes from the side that drew with Shamrock Rovers last time out – Kalen Spillane starting in place of Darren Dennehy, with Danny Furlong up front alongside Denis Behan. Daryl Horgan and Daryl Kavanagh were both included on the bench.
Mick Cooke’s team were lively from the off and rattled the Mark McNulty’s crossbar on 15 minutes when Ryan Brennan and Graham Rusk combined to see the latter land a nicely-struck effort off the woodwork.
City lost captain Kevin Murray to injury ten minutes later, an incident that forced Garry Buckley onto the pitch and into a very youthful centre-back pairing alongside Kalen Spillane.
If the switch gave either side momentum however, it was the visitors that took advantage. Duggan barged through from midfield on 33 minutes and when his initial shot was blocked, he volleyed his second attempt beyond the outstretched fingers of United keeper Gabriel Sava.
The men in green might have doubled their advantage shortly before the break. It was Buckley that threatened on this occasion; however, the youngster’s header from Adam Rundle’s corner drifted just wide of the Sava’s post.
Danny Murphy tested Sava’s abilities early in the second half with a cheeky attempted lob, before Drogs brought McNulty into the action at the other end – Gavin Brennan forcing City’s number one into a decent save.
Dunne was forced into a second injury-related substitution on the hour mark – Ian Turner replacing Rundle on the wing – and it was just minutes later that Danny Furlong had a good opportunity to settle the tie. The former Wexford Youths man beat Brian Gannon to a ball in over the top of the United back line, but could only direct his effort straight at Sava.
Gearoid Morrissey saw an effort drift wide after tearing through from midfield with 13 minutes remaining, but the telling moment of the second half would arrive with just three minutes of normal time remaining – referee Neil Doyle whistling for a handball inside the area, and it was Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien who stepped up to beat McNulty and continue his impressive scoring record against the Leesiders.
Next up: A home League fixture against UCD this coming Friday evening. KO 7.45pm
Cork City: McNulty; Dunleavy, K Murray (Buckley ’25), Spillane, Murphy; G Morrissey, Healy, Duggan, Rundle (Turner ’58); Furlong (Kavanagh ’93), Behan.
Subs: D Morrissey, D Horgan, Burns.