Report by Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie | Photo: Peadar O’Sullivan
A late goal from Shamrock Rovers’ Seán Hoare at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday resulted in a second pre-season defeat for Cork City, but Colin Healy’s side can take encouragement from their performance.
Having lost 2-1 against St Patrick’s Athletic at Blarney United’s ground last week, City were up against a relatively strong line-up from the champions, who led inside three minutes as Danny Mandroiu did well to tee up Rory Gaffney for the opening goal.
Dylan Watts might have doubled the Rovers lead but he was denied by Mark McNulty in the City goal and the Rebel Army responded well after that. On 12 minutes, Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh had a shot saved by Leon Pohls, but the equaliser came immediately after that.
It was a well-worked move, with Cian Murphy – who had started brightly – linking well with O’Brien-Whitmarsh and slotting home. City settled after that, with Ronan Hurley impressing at centre-back alongside Cian Coleman, and he had to be alert to block a Graham Burke effort with McNulty saving the follow-up.
Shortly before half-time, Murphy went close again for City while in the second half Gordon Walker had a shot from distance that was saved by Pohls.
With both sides making changes as the second period wore on, the game looked to be heading for a draw but in the 87th minute, Hoare – signed from Dundalk in the off-season – reacted quickest to a breaking ball in the City area and scored what proved to be the winner.
Next up for City is a trip to Waterford next Saturday before rounding off their pre-season programme against Finn Harps the following weekend.
McNulty (Harrington 70); Walker, Coleman, Hurley, Kargbo; Baxter (Byrne 62), Morrissey (Holland 70); McGlade (Galvin 70), Murphy, Crowley (Wynne 81); O’Brien-Whitmarsh.