Cork City FC put league form behind them on Monday evening when they overcame the challenge of Kilbarrack United by three goals to one in the FAI Cup second round at Turner's Cross. Goals from youngsters Danny Morrissey (2) and Garry Buckley secured victory, with James English notching a response for the visitors.
The game was originally pencilled in for a date earlier this summer but was postponed because of Kilbarrack's involvement in the FAI Junior Cup final. City will now face Sligo Rovers in the next round of the competition on the weekend ending August 25th.
The hosts made a dream start when striker Morrissey put City ahead with not even a full minute registered on the clock, and the in-form youngster doubled the Leesiders' advantage with a second - and equally superb strike - on 55 minutes. A classy finish from Buckley sealed the win on just after the hour mark, before substitute James English grabbed a consolation for the visitors three minutes later.
Playing in their all-white strip, City showed two changes from the team that was beaten in the league by Limerick last Friday evening - John Dunleavy lining out at full-back in place of Neal Horgan, while Stephen Kenny started up front alongside Danny Morrissey - replacing Cup-tied Ciarán Kilduff.
City threatened from the very first kick of the game - Dunleavy charging down the right and it was from Ian Turner's resulting corner that Morrissey saw his initial effort blocked down, before firing beyond the stranded Mark Hatton with his second attempt.
The crowd had barely settled in their seats by the time the ball hit the back of the net, but it was an ideal start for caretaker Stuart Ashton, and the hosts might have inched even further ahead minutes later when Morrissey was felled in the Kilbarrack box, just as he was lining up to shoot while one-on-one with Hatton.
The visitors worked hard to snuff out the bright start made by the home side but Danny Morrissey and Kenny created plenty of room between them and were unlucky on several occasions not to get the rub of the green. Kenny headed high and wide on five minutes before combining well with his strike partner just after the half-hour mark only to see his goal-bound effort cleared away from danger by Mark Nolan.
Buckley had his hands full marking United's main target man, Keith Kirwan, and the latter came closest to scoring on 43 minutes when he blasted horribly wide from close range with Mark McNulty's goal within sight.
City found it difficult to contain their opponents early in the second half but the fixture took a decisive turn on 55 minutes when a perfectly judged through ball from Kenny - set Danny Morrissey free down the right, and the striker made no mistake in firing low beyond Hatton for a second time.
City's number 15 might have had an eye on an FAI Cup hat trick on the hour mark when he latched on to Daryl Horgan's fine cross inside from the left - only to have his effort blocked by the onrushing Hatton. However, minutes later Buckley pounced on Turner's corner to make it 3-0 and eventually settle the encounter.
There was still time for Kilbarrack to get on the score sheet, however, with English knocking home a cross from close range. Try as they could, they could not break City's defence for a second time and it was the Airtricity League Premier Division side that will make it through to the next stage of the competition.
Next up for Cork is Shane Long's anticipated return to Leeside as Cork City FC take on West Brom at Turner's Cross from 7.45pm tomorrow evening (Tuesday).
Cork City FC: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy (John Kavanagh 78), Garry Buckley, Dan Murray (c), Danny Murphy; Ian Turner (Colin Healy 78), Shane Duggan, Gearoid Morrissey, Daryl Horgan; Danny Morrissey, Stephen Kenny (Rob Lehane 73).
Subs not used: Dave Ryan (gk), Brian Lenihan, Eoghan Murphy, Andrew O'Connell.
Kilbarrack United: Mark Hatton; Mark Nolan, Alan McHugh, Mark Mooney, Gavin Gaughran (Glen Smart 46); David Jackson, John Meleady, Dean Gibbons, Mark Geraghty; Keith Kirwan (James English 63), Mark Townley (Aaron Humphries 72).
Subs not used: Eamon Mulligan, Stephen Sheehan, Stephen Martin, Nicholas Kantounas.
Referee: Keith Callanan.