by Denis Hurley of Echolive.ie
Cork City fell to their fifth defeat in ten league games as UCD struck for two late goals at the Bowl in Belfield.
With five minutes left, City led thanks to Seán McLoughlin’s first-half goal but were down to ten men after Garry Comerford’s red card.
The hosts were level when Yoyo Mahdy’s shot slipped through Mark McNulty’s hands and in the 92nd minute Gary O’Neill completed the turnaround with a goal from a penalty.
Following on from Friday’s last-minute concession of an equaliser to St Patrick’s Athletic, the result means City have 11 points from ten games.
City had four changes from Friday. McLoughlin and Shane Griffin came in for Alan Bennett and Kevin O’Connor in defence while an injury to Conor McCormack saw Gary Boylan come into midfield with James Tilley replacing teenager Cian Murphy, forced off on Friday.
It meant a return to 4-2-3-1 and City had the better of the opening exchanges in windy conditions, though most of their early attempts were from distance, with Conor Kearns saving from Garry Buckley and Gearóid Morrissey.
Boylan, making his first league start, also tested the goalkeeper while he almost got on the end of a Tilley cross but Mark Dignam headed away.
Conor McCarthy also had a chance, heading straight at Kearns from a Morrissey free kick while at the other end McLoughlin had to defend well when Neil Farrugia tried to pick out Mahdy.
That was on the half-hour and five minutes later McLoughlin was making a difference at the other end, flicking home Griffin’s corner from the right to open the scoring.
Buckley sought to double the lead in the wake of that following good work from Garry Comerford but he was well wide, while McLoughlin did well to block an effort by UCD’s Daniel Tobin.
As half-time neared, McNulty saved from Neil Farrugia and Josh Collins, but, with Darragh Crowley on for Boylan at half-time, City settled again on the resumption.
Tilley went close soon after the restart and Buckley had a half-volley which flew over following a Morrissey header down from a Griffin cross before Morrissey – with three long-range away goals already – shot wide.
Having been on the back foot, UCD began to push again around the three-quarter mark. First, Timmy Molloy’s curling shot was dealt with by McNulty, who should have been tested more. Then, on 71, a Gary O’Neill free kick wasn’t claimed by the goalkeeper but Farugia sent his header over.
Five minutes after that, City found themselves reduced to ten men.
Comerford, already booked, went in hard on Farrugia and, while a second yellow card wouldn’t have been harsh, referee Ben Connolly issued him with a straight red.
The equaliser came when Conor Davis headed down a cross to Mahdy, the conditions meaning his shot eluded McNulty’s grasp, and when sub Matthew Gillam fouled O’Neill, he slotted home the spot kick.
It proved to be the last action.
: Ben Connolly (Dublin).