Longford Town’s FAI Cup hopes ended on Saturday evening as Cork City recorded a 4-1 win at a rain soaked City Calling Stadium.
Caretaker manager Gary Cronin was in charge for the last time after the announcement that Alan Mathews was returning to the club. Noel Haverty was injured so Rhys Gorman came into the starting line-up.
Prior to kick off there was persistent rain in the midlands which left the pitch with a lot of standing water and the grounds staff did a fantastic job getting the playing surface ready.
From the off Cork City set about their task maintaining possession in the middle of the park and probing the Longford defence. It took three minutes for Cork to hit the front.
A needless foul by Conor Powell on Sean Maguire gave Cork City a free kick on the edge of the Town’s penalty area. From the resulting free-kick Greg Bolger tapped it sideways for Kevin O’Connor to drive his shot under the wall and past Paul Skinner.
Throughout the 1st half the Leesiders attacked at will and, in truth, they should have had four or five goals, Karl Sheppard, Maguire and Stephen Dooley all having great chances. Longford got out of their half twice but their attacks came to nothing on both occasions.
In the 40th minute there was a clash in the midfield between Kevin O’Connor and Gary Buckley with the Cork City man coming off the worse. He needed a few minutes of treatment so the game carried on with Cork down to ten men.
Buckley came back on but quickly realised he couldn’t continue as he suffered suspected broken ribs according to the doctor at the ground. At the same time Jamie Mulhall made a run forward and ended up clattering Steven Beattie. It was more a case of slipping into him rather than being malicious but still ended up in the referees note book.
The second half started with more energy from the Town. Kevin O’Connor had a great run from midfield but his shot went well wide.
The pattern of the first half continued with Cork in possession but lacking the creativity of the first half. That was until a two goal spell inside three minutes.
The crucial second goal came after two deflections. The ball fell to Sean Maguire who calmly slotted past Skinner in the Longford goal and two minutes later the substitute Gavan Hoolohan played a neat pass to set Karl Sheppard clear and he also found the net. Cork City threatened to run riot and could have scored a hatful of goals.
With ten minutes remaining Kaleem Simon made a run from midfield and squared the ball to Phillip Gannon who shot well and Mark McNulty could only parry the ball into the path of Eddie Dsane who finished well high into the net.
Unfortunately for the Town this was as good as it got as Cork city could have added a few more goals and in injury time Colin Healy set up Chiedoze Ogbene to score Cork City’s fourth.
Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Rhys Gormon, Conor Powell (c), Yann Mvita, Phillip Gannon ; Kevin O’Connor ( Paul McGlynn 56), Jamie Mulhall (Karl Chambers 85) , Gais Makouta ; Kaleem Simon, Eddie Dsane, Don Cowan (Kealan Dillon 59).
Subs not used: Ian Molloy, Tristan Noack-Hoffman, Pat Flynn, and Mark Hughes.
Booked: Jamie Mulhall (44)
Cork City: Mark Mc Nulty ; Kenny Browne, Alan Bennett, Garry Buckley ( Gavan Hoolahan 44), Steven Beattie; Kevin O’Connor, Greg Bolger; Stephen Dooley ( Chiedoze Ogbene 74), Gearoid Morrissey ; Sean Maguire (Colin Healy 74), Karl Sheppard.
Subs not used: Mathew Connor, Michael Mc Sweeney, Conor Mc Carthy, Mark O’Sullivan
Referee: Neil Doyle ( Dublin)
Attendance: 321 Official attendances
FAI Irish Daily Mail Cup Man of the Match: Gearoid Morrissey