Date: 7:45 p.m. May 1, 2009
Venue: Turners Cross
Ref: Derek Tomney
Fahrudin Kuduzovic 67' -
Cork, who had been unbeaten in seven prior to the game started well. Billy Dennehy fired a cross from the left in the tenth minute which trickled across goal and glanced the post before going out for a goal kick. Denis Behan then headed over on 19 minutes after more good work on the left wing from the Leesiders. Dennehy who has been immense for Cork so far this campaign pulled up in 25th minute with a hamstring injury and was immediately replaced by Guntars Silagailis. The Latvian striker then slotted in on the right wing rather than his usual position as striker.
Joe Gamble shot over for the Leesiders a minute later as they looked to assert some pressure on Sligo. Rovers then made a substitution of their own in the 33rd minute, with Danny Keoghane replacing full back Jason Noctor. New signing for Cork, Shane Duggan had a half attempt in the 39th minute for Cork, but his effort went well over the bar of Richard Brush.
Sligo, who named just three substitutes, lined-up in a 4-3-3 formation but lacked any width. Paul Cook’s men opted for the long ball more often than not in the opening stages but despite the frailties in their squad, were never seriously out of their depth against the in-form home team. The Bit O’Red did have a good spell towards the end of the half and after a couple of corner’s which came to nothing, Steve Feeney had a powerful shot from 25 yards blocked.
The first effort of the second period came to Denis Behan whose free header went straight into the hands of Richard Brush in the 48th minute. Shane Duggan then had a great opportunity in the 53rd minute but seemed to hesitate and Sligo managed to clear after good build up from Denis Behan. Colin Healy’s blistering effort two minutes later took a deflection and Joe Gamble then shot wide from the resulting corner.
Sligo, who moved to 4-4-2 in the second period, were forced to sit back for most of the second half but dealt well with the relentless attacking from Cork for most of the game. The Rebel Army tried to rally their charges and the pressure continued and Denis Behan shot tamely at Richard Brush with 65 minutes gone.
The goal finally game on the 67th minute, and it was Sligo old boy Faz Kuduzovic who struck with a looping header from 12 yards. Pat Sullivan done excellently on the right and the Bosnian climbed highest in the area to send his new club into the lead from Colin Healy’s cross. It was the attacker’s first competitive goal in the green jersey but the second for his former club after he scored against Rovers fro Drogheda United last season.
Sligo equalised in the final minute when both these sides met at the start of the season, and they almost had the perfect response again a couple of minutes later after breaking from defence. Rafael Cretaro’s effort was saved by Dan Connor but Brian Cash almost levelled it when he fired over despite having the goal at his mercy.
Behan shot over for Cork after Kuduzovic received a standing ovation as he left the pitch in the 84th minute, with Cillian Lordan coming on in his place. Dan Murray was booked for dissent in the 88th minute. Sligo went in search of an equaliser and as the seconds ticked away, Romauld Boco forced Dan Connor into putting the ball out for a corner but it ended like that as the home team stay in second place with their third consecutive 1-0 victory at Turner’s Cross.
Cork City: Dan Connor, Greg O’Halloran, Dan Murray, Danny Murphy, Pat Sullivan, Shane Duggan, Joe Gamble, Colin Healy, Billy Dennehy, Denis Behan, Fahrudin Kuduzovic Subs: Guntars Silagailis (Billy Dennehy , Cillian Lordan (Fahrudin Kuduzovic 84, Mark McNulty, Timmy Kiely, Alan O’Connor
Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush, Alan Keane, Jason Noctor, Gavin Peers, Steve Feeney, Conor O’Grady, Owen Torpey, Richie Ryan, Romauld Boco, Rafael Cretaro, Brian Cash Subs: Paul McTiernan (Owen Torpey 80mins), Danny Keoghane (Jason Noctor, 33mins), Ciaran Kelly
Referee: D Tomney
Official Man of the Match: Greg O’Halloran
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Fahrudin Kuduzovic – the difference between the two sides.