Denis Behan 39' -
Cork City made it three wins on the spin with a 1-0 victory over bottom club Drogheda United at a very wet and cold Turner’s Cross tonight. A Denis Behan goal midway through the first half was enough for the Rebel Army against a Drogheda side who were very poor for much of the encounter.
The game was marred by the torrential rain which appeared to have engulfed the whole country, but it was the home side that started the better on the swamp-like surface. Davin O’Neill crossed from the right wing and Billy Dennehy looked like opening the scoring at the back post but his effort struck Steve Williams and went out for a corner on the ten minute mark. O’Neill was also involved in the 17th minute when his powerful effort from the edge of the area was deflected for a corner by Paul Shiels.
Drogheda failed to get out of their own half for much of the period and they lost one of their main attacking threats when Shane Barrett left the pitch with a leg injury in the 33rd minute. Danny Murphy went very close for Cork after Colin Healy played a short corner to him with ten minutes to go in the half as Cork looked to make it three wins in a row. Williams produced a first class save, though, getting enough of a touch to divert the ball over the bar. From the resulting corner, Dan Murray turned before shooting over as the home side pinned their opponents back.
Cork finally made it 1-0 on the 40 minute mark, though. Billy Dennehy played to Guntars Silagailis, who unleashed a powerful effort and Williams could only parry as far as Denis Behan. The Abbeyfeale born striker then calmly headed in from six yards, with Drogheda’s defence nowhere to be seen.
Drogheda showed more of an attacking intent straight away after the goal and Robbie Farrell went close just 30 seconds after the restart, his shot going narrowly wide of Dan Connor’s right hand post. The first period ended without much action of note, though, as the soaked players trundled off.
After the break, Guntars Silagailis looked like doubling the advantage but he shot over after playing the ball too far ahead of himself as he attempted to round Williams. Both Joe Gamble and Silagailis had half attempts blocked on the hour mark, though, as the Leesiders continued their domination.
Ian Ryan headed straight at Dan Connor with twenty minutes to go from a Paul Shiels free kick, their first effort on target. Paul Crowley also shot at Connor in the 72nd minute as the away side looked to mount a comeback. Drogs’ defender, Conor Kenna almost played the ball into his own net as he attempted to clear a Danny Murphy cross, the ball luckily tricking wide in the 74th minute.
Silagailis’ right footed effort hit the side netting with 78 on the clock as Cork looked to make the game safe. Drogheda’s Robbie Farrell the played to J.P Kelly and he struck the ball goalwards, but Dan Connor managed to get just enough on the ball to send the ball out for a corner in the 82nd minute.
Joe Gamble went very close in the 85th minute for Cork, his rocket of a shot going just past the wrong side of the post. Silagailis then had a great chance to put the game beyond all doubt in the final minute of normal time, although his effort was narrowly wide yet again. It ended like that though, with both sides looking more interested in getting a hot shower.
Cork City: Dan Connor; Pat Sullivan, Greg O’Halloran, Dan Murray, Danny Murphy; Davin O’Neill, Joe Gamble, Colin Healy, Billy Dennehy; Denis Behan, Guntars Silagailis.
Subs not used: Mark McNulty (gk), Cillian Lordan, Fahrudin Kuduzovic, Neal Horgan, Shane Duggan.
Drogheda United: Steve Williams; James Chambers, Robert Clarke, Conor Kenna, Ian Ryan; John Paul Kelly, Paul Shiels, Shane Barrett (Mark Duggan 33), Paul Crowley; Robbie Farrell, Brian King (Jamie Duffy 76).
Subs not used: Paul Skinner (gk), Mark Salmon, Mick Foley.
Booked: Jamie Duffy
Referee: Padraigh Sutton
Extratime Man of the Match: Denis Behan (Cork City) - It was a game without any standout performers but goalscorer Behan just about deserved it.