By Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie
Cork City are up to fourth in SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table as Conor McCarthy and Dan Casey struck to earn a first home league win of the season last night.
With Bohemians coming to Turner’s Cross having avoided defeat in their opening five games, this was a big test for John Caulfield’s side but, similar to last year’s FAI Cup semi-final against the same opposition, they were up for the game and showed their class when required.
Without a home goal, City looked to carry on from last week’s victory at Finn Harps and Graham Cummins was the only addition to the team, replacing Dan Smith.
Perhaps seeking to harness the momentum, City won the toss and opted to play into the Shed End. They began well, taking the game to Bohs, but the visitors weren’t cowed either. They forced a couple of half-chances, with Danny Mandroiu and Conor Levingston having shots off-target while former Bohs man Dan Casey had to defend well to deny Danny Grant.
However, City began to take control, helped in no small way by Conor McCormack’s domineering midfield performance. Shane Griffin also impressed and his cross from the left on 15 minutes was just beyond Cummins.
On the right, Dáire O’Connor raised the anticipation levels whenever he got on the ball and he created a chance from nothing as he dispossessed Darragh Leahy and drove at the Bohs defence. His shot took a slight deflection off James Finnerty and had to be tipped around the post by goalkeeper James Talbot.
As City continued to press, Griffin won another corner on the left and O’Connor’s delivery hung under the crossbar, allowing Conor McCarthy to attack the ball and head home from close range, to the delight of the supporters behind the goal.
Bohs sought to respond positively and forced an opportunity as Keith Buckley’s find crossfield ball found Mandroiu in the area but he skewed his shot wide. At the other end, Karl Sheppard fired a long-range effort over and in injury time, City thought they had doubled their lead when Cummins headed in McCormack’s cross, but the flag was up.
Shortly before that, O’Connor had departed with a dislocated shoulder but his replacement, James Tilley, had an impact early in the second half. It was he who was fouled for a free kick 25 yards out within five minutes of the restart and, when he rolled it to Casey, the defender’s swerving effort deceived Talbot.
The tempo dropped somewhat after that, with City continuing to control proceedings as McCormack and Garry Buckley put in immense shifts in denying Bohs space in which to attack. With the defence tighter than in previous games, Mark McNulty wasn’t sufficiently tested and when Bohs did force a free kick on the edge of the area, Keith Ward’s effort didn’t have enough direction or pace.
Beyond that, the visitors weren’t able to threaten and City saw out the game to take the points.
Referee: Robert Hennessy.