Cork City easily advanced to the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup on Friday night in Turner’s Cross defeating Athlone Town in a very one sided clash.
The home side, who are the current reigning champions, had qualified for this round by defeating Bray Wanderers, while Athlone Town had defeated Cork side Ballincollig.
Roddy Collins’ side was hoping for history to repeat itself but it was not to be as City easily overpowered the weak challenge of the First Division team.
Four first half goals from Kieran Sadlier, Karl Sheppard, Connor Ellis and Garry Buckley gave City a convincing lead at the break. Athlone were an improved side in the second half as City slacked a little, but still goals from Achille Campion (x2) and a second from Ellis further improved the score line.
Sadlier got Cork City off to the perfect start when he headed home from close range following Keohane’s cross after only a couple of minutes gone in the game.
City attacked at will with Athlone sitting deep and Sheppard made it two on 10 minutes dribbling into the box before despatching it past the helpless Igor Labuts in the Athlone goal.
Ellis and Sadlier both had chances saved by Labuts, but the third arrived on the half hour with Ellis tapping home following good build up from Shane Griffin.
Athlone struggled to get into the City half and had to rely on a superb diving block from Stephen Walsh on 33 minutes to deny City a fourth. However it was only delaying the inevitable with the fourth arriving on 46 minutes. Buckley tapped home for his 10th goal of the season following a ball across the goal from Sheppard.
Early in the second half, Enda Curran had a half chance for the visitors that was saved by Mark McNulty, while at the other end, Ellis headed wide following Sadlier’s cross.
Just before the hour mark Labuts made a superb finger tip save to deny Sadlier for a corner. From Griffin’s resulting corner, Campion rose highest to head the ball past Labuts with the aid of the post.
On 70 minutes he turned provider when his header was saved by Labuts from close range before falling to Ellis who finished from close range.
City pressed for another goal and it happened late in injury time with Sadlier bursting past the defenders before passing to allow Sadlier finish for his second goal.
City now progress to the quarter-finals while Athlone Town have a lot to mull over after the game as they drive back to the midlands.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie, Ryan Delaney (Conor McCarthy 46), Robbie Williams (Pierce Philips 68), Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Garry Buckley (Achille Campion 46); Karl Sheppard, Jimmy Keohane, Kieran Sadlier; Connor Ellis.
Subs not used: Gearóid Morrissey, Alan Smith, Adam O’Sullivan.
Yellow Cards: Beattie (66)
Athlone Town: Igor Labuts; Liam McCartan, Owen Folan, Stephen Walsh, Sean McGrane; Dragos Sfrijan, Robert Spelman (Claudio Silva 46), Conor Layng, Ryan Gaffey (Joe Carmody 56), Etanda Nkololo; Enda Curran (Peter Walsh 75).
Subs not used: Connor Gleeson.
Yellow Cards: Spelman (27), Sfrijan (85)
Referee: Robert Hennessey
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Kieran Sadlier (Cork City)