By Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie
Neale Fenn remains in search of his first points as Cork City head coach after two late Waterford goals saw the visitors leave Turner’s Cross with the points on Monday night.
City led through a 25th-minute goal from Dáire O’Connor but couldn’t find a second and were punished as Maxim Kouogun levelled on 82 and Walter Figueira grabbed the winner in injury time.
There were four changes from Friday’s disappointing loss at home to Sligo Rovers. Goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan came in for his first league start, replacing Mark McNulty, while Josh Honohan was given his debut instead of Colm Horgan at right-back and gave a fine account of himself. Captain Conor McCarthy returned from suspension to take over from Alan Bennett at centre-back while Mark O’Sullivan was in for Joel Coustrain in attack.
Waterford had drawn with Derry City on Friday and they almost had an early lead as former City man Shane Duggan went close. While City settled, the Blues were dangerous in that opening quarter of the game as Dean O’Halloran had two chances and Figueira, set away by JJ Lunney, drew a good save from Ryan.
City were playing some good football though, with Eoghan Stokes operating behind O’Sullivan and having a big influence. The former Derry City man nearly opened the scoring in the 25th minute, sub Kouogun – on for luckless former City full-back John Kavanagh – blocking for a corner.
From that corner, though, City had the lead as Shane Griffin’s pass allowed Dáire O’Connor to work his way in from the flank and his curling shot eluded the grasp of Matt Connor, nestling in the net with the assistance of the crossbar.
The goal raised the mood and allowed City to continue to play with confidence, with a second goal almost arriving as a flowing move saw the ball worked to Karl Sheppard on the right but there was nobody to turn in his fizzing cross.
On 34, O’Connor set up Sheppard for a chance of his own, Browne having to block, while O’Sullivan sent a low shot wide after Stokes fed him.
Waterford did have the last chance of the half, Duggan’s long-range shot saved by Ryan, but City reasserted themselves on the resumption.
Twice in quick succession, O’Sullivan nearly made it two, Connor saving first from a header following Sheppard’s cross and then after the resultant corner from Griffin. The netminder had perhaps earned a bit of luck and he got it when Sheppard’s low ball across slipped through his hands on 66, trickling just past the post.
A Sheppard shot from distance three minutes later was straight at Connor, while the goalkeeper had more to do when Stokes had a chance in the area.
However, as long as the lead remained just a goal, City were susceptible and so it proved in the 82nd minute as Duggan’s inviting cross was met by Kouogun, who headed past Ryan.
That was bad, but it got worse in the 91st minute as Michael O’Connor played in Georgie Poynton and he showed good awareness to square to Figueira for a tap-in.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.