|19/05/17||19:45||SSE Airtricity League||2017|
by Henry O’Donovan
Cork City extended their unbeaten run to fourteen games after a convincing 5-0 win over Drogheda United. Jimmy Keohane opened the scoring and was followed up by two goals each for Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard.
John Caulfield made three changes to the side that started against Galway United, with Alan Bennett, Jimmy Keohane and Greg Bolger included in the starting eleven in place of Gearóid Morrissey, Steven Beattie and Conor McCormack. Under 19 player Pierce Phillips was given a spot on the bench.
The home side went on the attack right from the off, with early attempts from Garry Buckley and Stephen Dooley going close. The first goal of the game came in the 11th minute. Jimmy Keohane picked up the ball outside the box and dribbled past two players before finishing with a low shot under goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness.
Caulfield’s men continued to attack after the opening goal. Good interplay involving Dooley, Sean Maguire, and Karl Sheppard resulted in Buckley getting the chance to shoot from ten yards out, but his shot was narrowly wide.
The game was unofficially over following a three minute period starting in the 21st minute. Buckley slid the ball into the path of Johnny Dunleavy, and his low cross was deftly flicked home by Maguire at the near post.
In the 23rd minute Sheppard picked up the ball on the right and went on a driving run down the wing and into the box before finishing into the far corner from a tight angle.
A minute later Sheppard got his second. Maguire got to the byline down the right and pulled back to Sheppard, who’s looping chip sailed over the Drogheda goal keeper and into the net.
The Leesider’s continued the onslaught, with Maguire going close twice. First with a header straight at the keeper in the 26th minute and then having a shot blocked just wide. The resulting corner was played short to Dooley, who played it back to Kevin O’Connor, who’s left footed shot was well saved at the near post by McGuinness.
The pressure was kept up, and Keohane’s swivel and shot from 8 yards drew another good save from the goalkeeper in the 38th minute. Four minutes later Dooley went on a run down the left and shot wide.
The interval did nothing to stop the home sides momentum. Maguire had the ball taken off his toe by McGuinness after being played through by Keohane two minutes after the break.
Maguire headed just wide at the near post from a Dooley cross in the 51st minute. A minute later Dooley cut inside from the left and shot wide. In the 57th minute Maguire controlled a long ball forward, but his effort curled over the bar.
The fifth and final goal came in the 61st minute. Maguire took down a long ball and played a one two with Dooley, before pivoting and hitting a low shot into the bottom left corner.
Pressure continued to come from the home side following the fifth. Maguire was unable to get enough on a Dooley cross in the 63rd minute. A minute later Keohane drew another good save from McGuinness.
Griffin shot narrowly wide in the 71st minute after being played through by Maguire. Maguire slipped another one through for Campion in the 78th minute. Beating the offside trap, the Frenchman went one on one with the keeper and sent him the wrong way, but his shot was wide. Maguire continued in his role as playmaker when he threaded one through to Ellis but the keeper did well to stay big.
Campion had one more opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet late on, but his downward header bounced over the bar.
An emphatic win for City, they at times looked unstoppable going forward. Their unbeaten run now stands at 14 for the season with a trip to Sligo Rovers on Monday night next up on the agenda.
Referee: Robert Rogers.