|28/06/19||19:45||SSE Airtricity League||2019||2302|
By Denis Hurley for EchoLive.ie
Cork City’s hopes of a good start to the second half to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season came to ground as Derry City took the points at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
This was a dominant display by the Candystripes, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe getting a hat-trick, but City’s display left more than a lot to be desired, with the home goal not coming until the very end, scored by Graham Cummins, who is likely to be on his way to Shamrock Rovers next week.
City’s last outing had been the 1-1 draw away to Sligo Rovers a fortnight ago and there were two changes from that line-up, with Seán McLoughlin returning from injury while Conor McCormack was back following a suspension. Garry Comerford and Colm Horgan missed out.
There was little in the early stages to suggest what lay in store. Indeed, City had a half-chance in the opening minutes as former Rebel Army goalkeeper Peter Cherrie sent a clearance to Garry Buckley but he couldn’t properly direct his effort.
James Tilley, playing his final game before the end of his loan period, was also off-target with a long-range shot, but Derry had the lead in the 12th minute. From a Ciarán Coll throw, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe sent a low ball over from the left and David Parkhouse had an easy task to finish.
City almost replied as a Tilley free kick broke and Graham Cummins fired wide but beyond that they offered little until a low Gearóid Morrissey curling shot on 25, with Peter Cherrie saving well.
Two minutes later, Derry had doubled their lead with a lovely move. After Barry McNamee and Greg Sloggett linked well on the right of the area, Sloggett’s cross was volleyed home by Ogedi-Uzokwe.
Then, on the half-hour, it was 3-0 for Derry. Gerardo Bruna’s free kick from just outside the penalty area hit a City hand in the box and referee Robert Hennessy awarded a spot-kick. Ogedi-Uzokwe stepped up and, though Mark McNulty saved his first effort, the winger converted the rebound.
Parkhouse twice had chances of a fourth but failed to find the target, while at the other end Cummins headed wide from a Tilley free kick as City sought to find a way back into the game.
At half-time, John Cotter sought to give City some impetus with a switch to 4-4-2 as Darragh Rainsford replaced Gearóid Morrissey and defender Dan Casey might have pulled one back when Tilley rolled a free kick to him, his long-range shot whistling just over.
Tilley’s game ended soon after that due to injury – and Ronan Hurley replaced him. Kevin O’Connor, on the left-footed set-pieces, did cause panic on the Derry area with a delivery from the right and Seán McLoughlin and Cummins almost connected but Ciarán Coll was able to clear the danger for Derry.
Just before the hour, an improbable task became impossible for City as Dáire O’Connor was sent off. Booked in the first half for a foul on Jamie McDonagh, he was adjudged to have dived by referee Hennessy, who cautioned him again and reduced City to ten men.
Another blow inevitably followed on 66 as Ogedi-Uzokwe got his hat-trick, heading home at the back post from McDonagh’s cross.
Cummins headed wide from a Conor McCarthy cross and he did get a goal at the end, a header following a Kevin O’Connor corner. It mattered little, though it did at least avoid the spectre of equalling City worst-ever home league defeat, 4-0 against Sligo Rovers in 1985-86 and St Patrick’s Athletic in January 2001.
A trip to Finn Harps awaits City on Monday.