Goals from Connor Ellis and Stephen Dooley were enough to put Cork City into the final four of the EA Sports Cup with a win over St Patricks Athletic. in front of 1,792 spectators in Turner's Cross.
The first half was a forgettable affair, but the second half was a lot better with goals from Ellis on 67 minutes and late in stoppage time Dooley made sure of the victory with a superb individual goal.
Manager John Caulfield had mentioned in the build up to the game that he would ring the changes and he remained true to his word with only Greg Bolger, Ryan Delaney and Stephen Dooley remaining in the starting 11 from the side that defeated Bray Wanderers.
Liam Buckley rang the changes for the visitors with only four players staying from the team who drew with Derry City last week: Michael Barker, Gavin Peers, Conan Byrne and Rory Feely.
The opening minutes of the game were mainly played in the middle of the park with City on a number of occasions trying through balls to Connor Ellis up front but Barry Murphy was off his line to clear the danger.
At the other end of the field, Alan Smith pulled off a smart save to deny Rory Feely from 14 yards.
Ryan Delaney headed wide while back peddling from a Stephen Dooley cross following a shot corner on 27 minutes but still neither team looked particularly threatening.
Cork City’s best chance of the first half came when a superb pass from stand-in captain Bolger set up John Kavanagh, who crossed to Ellis, but the striker fired his first-time shot inches wide of the post.
The Dublin side had a few attacking forays near the end of the opening half but the closest they came was a dangerous cross from Jonathan Lunney that nearly found Josh O’Hanlon but Delaney cleared the ball for a corner.
Delaney’s high ball on 53 minutes caused panic in the Pat’s goal as Murphy fumbled the ball to Achille Campion but the substitute's shot was tipped wide by Murphy for a corner.
Five minutes later, Keohane was next to try his luck but he shot straight at Murphy from outside of the box.
However City were now pressing more, inspired by Johnny Dunleavy who helped to raise their game following a long run and they got their reward midway through the second half.
Dooley set up Shane Griffin on the overlap and the former Reading man played a dangerous ball across the box that Ellis fired off Murphy first time, only to bundle home the rebound from close range. It was the striker's third goal of the season.
Pat’s upped their tempo after the concession of the goal with Ian Bermingham firing wide from close range while Christy Fagan had a shot on the turn after 86 minutes that went narrowly wide of Smith’s goal.
With time nearly up, Fagan again shot wide from inside the box, while at the other end Ellis nearly doubled the lead but could only shoot straight at Murphy.
But there was still time for another goal on two minutes into injury time when Dooley dispossessed a Pat’s player before dribbling into the box, rounding Murphy and firing low into the bottom corner.
It is the rebel army’s 14th win of the season as they now turn their attention to Finn Harps at home on Friday night while Pats travel to Bray Wanderers.
Cork City: Alan Smith; John Kavanagh (Gearóid Morrissey 80), Ryan Delaney, Conor McCarthy, Shane Griffin; Greg Bolger, Jimmy Keohane; Stephen Dooley, Alec Byrne (Johnny Dunleavy 56), Christian Nanetti (Achille Campion 45); Connor Ellis.
Subs not used: Mark McNulty (gk), Steven Beattie, Pierce Philips, Aaron Drinan.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Barry Murphy; Michael Barker, Gavin Peers (Lee Desmond 24, inj.), Rory Feely, Jonathan Lunney; Patrick Cregg; Conan Byrne, Jack Bayly (Ian Bermingham 67), Graham Kelly, Alex O’Hanlon (Christy Fagan 75); Josh O’Hanlon
Subs not used: Conor O’Malley (gk), Sam Verdon, Darragh Markey, Kurtis Byrne.
Booked: Barker (41).
Referee: Sean Grant.
Extratime.ie Player of the match: Stephen Dooley (Cork City).