Philip Morrissey reports from Turner's Cross
A second-half header from Graham Cummins secured Cork City all three points and saw them move into second in the table as they completed a league double over St Patrick's Athletic.
In truth, the visitors will be kicking themselves for coming away from Turners Cross empty handed. They more than matched the home team and were on top for long stretches of the game.
Pats came into the encounter having scored nine goals in their previous two games; against Bray and the topsy-turvy EA Sports Cup tie with Dundalk on Monday.
They brought this confidence into tonight’s game. Against a side missing the likes of Alan Bennett, Steven Beattie and Aaron Barry, the emphasis was to go for it.
In the first few minutes alone, Conan Byrne and Simon Madden attacked down the left, delivering crosses which were hastily dealt with by the Cork defence.
Byrne and Garvan were pulling the strings at this point and City were struggling to get hold of the ball.
They did, however, then create the best chance of the first half. A Kieran Sadlier cross was cleared for a corner, which was headed against the post by Cummins.
The forward, seeking to get back on the scoring trail, was then fortunate to head over his own crossbar from another tantilising cross. A busy period of action then saw him set up Sadlier who shot just over.
Pats remained a threat, and Dean Clarke and Jake Keegan continued to cause consternation. The former twice had chances when found in space but was unable to truly test Mark McNulty.
As the half came to a close, frustration began to get the better of a number of players, and a succession of free-kicks were conceded.
The goal arrived early in the second half. A free-kick was awarded on the right-wing. It was played into Conor McCormack, who chipped a delightful pass into Graham Cummins.
He buried his powerful header into the back of Barry Murphy’s net, and it was almost two straight away as Sadlier was found in space before his shot was blocked.
The game was now opened up and Pats came back again. A Garvan free-kick was deflected over the bar and Byrne had a shout for a penalty, which was ignored.
A number of whipped balls from Ryan Brennan into the area kept McNulty and his defence busy.
City were playing on the break for much of this but managed to create a few chances of their own. Morrissey, in particular, was unlucky to see a belter whistle just past the post after a decent move.
The cards were drawn and Buckley gambled with bringing in the likes of Fagan and Darragh Markey.
City really should have been the seal on the game when Jimmy Keohane, on for Sadlier, found himself one-on-one with Murphy following a great move.
The midfielder's shot was straight at the keeper, however, and the tension among the 4,402 in attendance remained.
At the death, an equaliser almost arrived. Clarke and Markey combined in a fine move which caused panic amongst the City defence.
It rebounded off McLoughlin into the waiting path of a number of players and was rushed clear somehow though. The resulting corner was whipped in and missed at the back-post.
The final whistle came to the relief of the Shed End crowd. The 100% home record was retained to allow them move above Waterford, and behind Dundalk.
A date against Sligo awaits Cork on Tuesday, whilst Pats are due to face Waterford. Bigger challenges await them if aims of repeating last years success is to be achieved.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Shane Griffin, Sean McLoughlin; Conor McCormack, Gearóid Morrissey, Barry McNamee, Kieran Sadlier (Jimmy Keohane 80) , Karl Sheppard; Graham Cummins (Josh O'Hanlon 83).
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (gk), Danny Kane, Aaron Barry, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Howard.
Booked: Colm Horgan (44).
St Patrick's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Ian Bermingham; Jamie Lennon, Owen Garvan, Ryan Brennan (Darragh Markey 76), Conan Byrne, Dean Clarke; Jake Keegan (Christy Fagan 69).
Subs not used: Tyson Farago (gk), Mick Leahy, Ian Turner, Graham Kelly, James Doona.
Booked: Ryan Brennan (39).
Referee: Rob Hennessey.
Attendance: 4,402 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: TBC