Goals from Graham Cummins and Karl Sheppard eased Cork City passed Bohemians at Turners Cross with the first half goals giving City a 2-1 win in this Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup semi final replay. Following a battling 90 minutes between both sides, it would be the home side who would reach their fourth consecutive final, with the reigning cup champions seeing off a goal of the season contender from Ian Morris to grind out the win.
Following last week’s 1-1 draw in Dalymount, where goals from Dinny Corcoran and a late late penalty from Kieran Sadlier left the sides at the stalemate, both sides came into the game knowing everything was to play for. For City it was an opportunity to salivate a difficult season, one which had seen their league title surrendered to rivals Dundalk without much fare, while a regenerated Bohemians wished to round off a recent red and black revival in North Dublin with their first cup final appearance since their 2008 victory.
An organized midfield of Gearoid Morrissey and Jimmy Keohane penned back the Bohemians midfield, with the midfield pair pressing Keith Buckley and JJ Lunney out of the ball to release wingers Kieran Sadlier and Karl Sheppard out wide to stretch the play. Early chances such as a ball inches over the target from Sean McLoughlin showed a growing confidence and pressure from City, with the home side striding with the play.
Through the pressure came play and through the play came the breaks as a free kick from Jimmy Keohane dropped a ball inside the area to a seemingly unmarked Graham Cummins to nod the hosts in front.
Not even five minutes had passed and City doubled their lead. In a moment so associated with the bread and butter of John Caulfield’s successes, a long ball forward by Mark McNulty was broken down by Cummins at the edge of the area, to release Sheppard to round Supple in goal and neatly tap it in to give City a 2-0 lead.
While runs from Dinny Corcoran and Keith Buckley where calmly disposed of by Alan Bennett and McCarthy, the visitors went into the dressing room at halftime without a shot on target. Despite a slow start to the tie, this was a factor Bohs quickly rectified in some fashion at the start of the second half..
As the clock ticked towards the hour mark Morris decided it was his time to shine. The centre back smashing a darting ball off the cross bar to bounce behind the line to give Bohs a lifeline with half an hour left to play.
Introducing Eoghan Stokes, Bohs where ready to throw their all into the final third as City switched to a more defensive 4-5-1. Despite the rigidity in defense, City could have made it 3-1 with ten minutes to go, as Bennett met the end of a Barry McNamee free into the St. Anne’s End, but the famed defender’s effort was just over.
In the end, the defiance and determination of City saw through the revived their Dublin opposition on this occasion. City booked their place in their fourth consecutive Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup final. Now, there is the gauntlet and further challenge against rivals Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium which stands between Caulfield and securing a famous three in a row.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Alan Bennett, Shane Griffin, Jimmy Keohane, Gearoid Morrissey (Conor McCormack 69’), Gary Buckley, Kieran Sadlier (Barry McNamee 72’), Karl Sheppard (Aaron Barry 88’), Graham Cummins.
Subs not used: Petter Cherrie, Damien Delaney, Ronan Coughlan, Cian Murphy.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Darragh Leahy, Rob Cornwall, Ian Morris, Keith Buckley (Dan Byrne 90’), JJ Lumney, Danny Grant (Ali Reghba 77’), Keith Ward (Eoghan Stokes 86’), Kevin Devaney, Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Colin McCable, Oscar Brennan, Paddy Kirk, Ryan Graydon.
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Attendance: 4,100 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Graham Cummins.