By Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie
Cork City’s home troubles continued as second-half pressure failed to yield a winner at Turner’s Cross on Monday evening.
A draw leaves City on 12 points from 12 points, with no win in six in the league, and just six points from 18 at home.
An attendance of 2,302 witnessed a number of chances for City in the second period, but poor finishing, good goalkeeping and luck ensured that Sligo took a point back to the north-west with them.
City had two changes from Friday’s loss at Waterford. With Gearóid Morrissey injured, Garry Comerford replaced him on his return from suspension while Karl Sheppard was back after his injury, coming in for Darragh Crowley.
Sligo went into the game level on points with City and it was their striker, former City man Ronan Coughlan, who had the first chance, firing over from a Kris Twardek cross. City again went with a 4-2-2-2, Sheppard alongside Graham Cummins, and on 17 minutes Sheppard had a good chance from a Comerford delivery but he couldn’t get a good enough connection and Mitchell Beeney collected possession.
At the other end, Twardek and Coughlan were threatening to link well, with the latter having an effort from a tight angle saved by McNulty following a pass from his partner. On 36, Coughlan nearly returned the favour after forcing a turnover but McNulty was out well to clear the danger.
City were trying to create openings, but often unable to show enough urgency in doing so. Seven minutes before half-time, they worked a good move involving Conor McCarthy, Sheppard and Conor McCarthy to give James Tilley a half-chance but John Mahon got in a good challenge in the area.
In first-half injury time, they went close again, with Sheppard’s cross finding Cummins, but his header wasn’t able to test Beeney.
As the teams retired at half-time, the fans in the Shed End gave City a vocal reception and, though David Cawley had the first effort of the second half, shooting straight at McNulty, City began to get on top.
On 55, Beeney dropped a Tilley free kick but the goalkeeper recovered before Seán McLoughlin could capitalise. City brought on Dáire O’Connor as they sought a goal and it almost came just after the hour, with Cummins heading narrowly over from a Sheppard cross.
Five minutes later, a ball fell to Garry Buckley just outside the area and, while he might have shot, instead he played the ball right to O’Connor, who drove towards goal and unleashed a low shot which ended up in the side-netting.
Darragh Crowley and Darragh Rainsford were brought in as City continued to press, and the chances kept coming. O’Connor’s cross was met by Buckley with Beeney saving and Crowley’s follow-up deflected out for a corner.
Then, on 81, Griffin’s crossfield ball picked out Rainsford, whose touch was brilliant, but Beeney kept the shot out with his face. Buckley headed wide from a Rainsford corner with two minutes of normal time remaining and four added minutes failed to produce anything more.
Referee: Ray Matthews (Westmeath)