Airtricity League Premier Division
Cork City 4, Derry City 2
DEFENSIVE errors cost Derry City a share of the spoils against champions Cork City as this spirited display from the Kenny Shiels’ side in Turner’s Cross yesterday should have resulted in a more positive result.
Having cancelled out a Karl Sheppard brace thanks to Ronan Curtis and Ronan Hale goals, the Candy Stripes undid all their good work by conceding terrible goals to Kieran Sadlier and Graham Cummins to hand Cork the three points.
Shiels made three changes to the side which suffered a disappointing loss to Sligo Rovers on Friday night, with Eoin Toal, Jamie McDonagh and Rory Patterson coming into the starting line-up with Conor McDermott, Ben Doherty and Nicky Low all dropping to the bench.
The home side gave Conor McCarthy and Karl Sheppard a place in their starting 11, replacing the suspended Conor McCormack with Alan Bennett was amongst the substitutes.
Derry enjoyed a relatively composed start but parity lasted just seven minutes as Cork scored with their first meaningful attack. Cummins received the ball on the left and engineered himself a yard on Gavin Peers. His near post cross was then met by Sheppard who glanced a superb header past Gerard Doherty from six yards.
The goal was a huge blow for Derry but the visitors settled again quickly and on 12 minutes, they had their first chance. Toal’s lofted ball into the Cork penalty area was met by Patterson who headed down to Ronan Curtis to create a shooting opportunity but his effort was straight at Mark McNulty.
Derry got another sight of the goal on the half hour when Ronan Hale back-heeled the ball into the path of the supporting Aaron McEneff, who skipped into the area before curling the ball over McNulty’s crossbar as Cork held on to half-time.
And it took Cork just 30 seconds to double their lead after the restart. With Jamie McDonagh down injured, Cork broke to leave Toal outnumbered and allow Garry Buckley’s through ball to be swept home by Sheppard for his second.
Derry gave themselves a lifeline on 66 minutes when Ronan Curtis pulled a goal back, the Portsmouth-bound forward beating McNulty from 25 yards with an effort which whistled into the bottom corner.
The game was completely turned on its head within three minutes as Derry levelled, Jack Doyle’s cross was collected by Ronan Hale who took a touch before rifling the ball into the roof of the net past McNulty for his eighth goal for the club.
However, Cork were back in front within two minutes as referee Robert Hennessey controversially penalised Darren Cole for a challenge on Garry Buckley 25 yards from goal. Worse was to follow as the City wall disintegrated allowing Sadler’s shot to sail unopposed into the bottom corner with Doherty stranded.
The game was up for Derry on 84 minutes as McNulty’s big kick out sent Graham Cummins in behind the Derry defence and, after his header came back off the crossbar, the striker was first to react to head in on the line to secure the points for the champions.
Cork City: McNulty; Horgan, McCarthy, McLoughlin, Griffin (Kane 74); Buckley, Keohane, McNamee (O’Hanlon 78); Sheppard, Cummins (Barry 86), Sadlier.
Derry City: G Doherty, Peers (Logue 61), Toal, Cole; McDonagh, Rory Hale, McEneff, Curtis, Doyle; Ronan Hale, Patterson.
Referee: Mr Robert Hennessy (Dublin).