At a chilly Oriel Park Dundalk produced another battling display to grab a point against Cork City in a lacklustre encounter on Friday night. In a poor game, Ian Turner gave the visitors the lead on 21 minutes, capitalising on mistakes in the Dundalk defence, only for Gary Shanahan to give Dundalk a deserved share of the spoils when he calmly fired home from six yards on the hour mark.
It was the home side who started the brighter, as Michael Rafter got in amongst the Cork defence but found himself crowded out. Rafter did get a shot away when he struck from 25 yards but his effort was saved with ease by Mark McNulty. At the other end Turner hit a free-kick wide from 25 yards after 15 minutes before the right-sided player gave the Leesiders the lead for the second consecutive away game, after giving Cork the lead in Sligo a fortnight previous.
Some good pressure from the visitors resulted in Davin O’Neill playing a harmless ball over the top which wasn’t dealt with by the Dundalk defence and Turner got in behind to fire past Peter Cherrie.
The Lilywhites almost hit back immediately when Mark O’Brien hit a good shot but Leesiders ‘keeper McNulty was equal to it.
Nathan Murphy then had a free-kick saved by McNulty on the half hour mark before Gary Shanahan had a header cleared off the line from the resulting corner. Cork remained a threat however and Turner almost turned provider when he crossed for Daryl Horgan but he couldn’t get his effort on target. Rafter then once again tried his look from distance but was well off target.
The visitors almost made it two at the beginning of the second half when Turner’s volley from 25 yards went narrowly wide of the post. Dundalk then had a great chance to level when Murphy crossed and found Griffin but his shot from 12 yards went just wide of McNulty’s right hand upright.
Chris Shields was the next to threaten on 55 minutes when Paul Walsh crossed for Rafter, he laid it off to Shields but his shot was deflected and saved by McNulty.
But Dundalk finally equalised on the hour mark. A pin-point ball from substitute and debutant Lorcan Shannon, found the on-rushing Shanahan in behind the away defence and coolly finished to the net past McNulty.
City began to dominate after the goal but struggled to create anything of note. The odd shot here and there was all they could muster, though the hosts defended stoutly. As the game passed, no one really created anything.
Dundalk finished very strongly but in injury time they were lucky not to have conceded a penalty when Philip McCabe brought down Turner inside the area only for referee Damien Hancock to amazingly wave away the visitors’ claims.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Ben McLaughlin, Derek Foran, Paul Whelan, Nathan Murphy (Philip McCabe 76); Paul Walsh (Lorcan Shannon 58), Chris Shields, Mark O’Brien (Stephen McDonnell 69); Michael Rafter, Mark Griffin, Gary Shanahan.
Subs not used: Finnian Farrelly, William Woods, Bob McKenna,Chris Reilly.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Kevin Murray, Danny Murphy; Ian Turner, John Dunleavy, Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan (Gearóid Morrissey 78); Vinny Sullivan (Andy O’Connell 84), Davin O’Neill (Stephen Kenny 72).
Subs not used: Paul White, Gavin Kavanagh, Kalen Spillane, Garry Buckley.
Referee: Damien Hancock.
Official attendance: 1,007
Extratime.ie man of the match: Derek Foran. Outstanding all evening and still gave his all when injured.