Cork City were 4-1 winners against Limerick at Turner’s Cross on Friday night. A Sean Maguire brace and goals from Stephen Dooley and Jimmy Keohane were enough to secure victory against a Limerick side who came to play.
Conor McCormack was the first player to have a shot in anger, when his strike from distance went narrowly wide. The Leesiders didn’t have it all their own way, as the visitors had their share of possession in the opening 10 minutes.
The first clear chance came 16 minutes in, and it fell Limerick’s way. The ball dropped to Chiedozie Ogbene in the home side’s box, and the former City player was unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line by McCormack.
The opening goal came in the 23rd minute. Karl Sheppard found space on the right wing and his cross found Sean Maguire, whose glancing header found the back of the net.
Right from the restart Limerick punted a long ball forward that landed at the feet of Ogbene. Through on goal he knocked the ball past Mark McNulty before going down with what appeared to be minimal contact with the City goalkeeper. The penalty was given and Rodrigo Tosi stepped up to slot home the equaliser.
Both teams pushed hard for the lead in the time after the penalty. In the 31st minute Ogbene attempted a spectacular bicycle kick, but the effort was well wide. McCormack had another go from distance but Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke was behind it all the way.
Clarke was called into action again in the 38th minute. A close range header from Garry Buckley produced a superb reflex save from the Limerick goalie.
John Caulfield’s men regained the lead on the eve of half time. Good build up play saw Stephen Dooley receive the ball on the edge of the penalty area. His first touch controlled the ball and got him turned and his second was a shot with little back lift that arrowed into the corner of the Limerick net.
City got their third in the opening minute after half time. Maguire pounced on a defensive error before rounding the goalkeeper and rolling the ball into the empty net.
With the two goal advantage City were in the ascendancy. They stroked the ball around in the Limerick half of the pitch and controlled the possession.
In the 73rd minute Limerick had a golden opportunity to pull a goal back. Paul O’Connor found himself free at the back post but he failed to capitalise, shooting wide from close range.
Jimmy Keohane put the icing on the cake for City five minutes from the end. Coming forward from right back he came inside on his left foot and curled an inch perfect shot to the far post that caressed the post on the way to the net.
A great win for City against strong opposition, the only blemish coming from the injury to talismanic defender Johnny Dunleavy, who was stretchered off in the 53rd minute.
Referee: Robert Rogers.
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