Cork City entertained Sligo Rovers in Turners Cross in front of a crowd of 2,882 as the second round of League of Ireland fixtures began.
Cork City emerged victorious against Sligo Rovers tonight thanks to a late Mark O’Sullivan goal. Karl Sheppard gave City two goals inside the opening half hour even though he missed a penalty to deny himself a hat trick. John Russell scored for Sligo finishing off a move as City lead 2-1 going into the break.
The second half saw Kevin Devaney bring the Bit of Red level after 75 minutes but O’Sullivan got the last goal to give City the three points and remain in second place.
Cork City made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Bohemians last Monday in Dalymount
Park. A debut was handed to ex-Waterford United player Kevin O’Connor at left back in place of Ross Gaynor. The other changes saw Dan Murray replace the injured Alan Bennett, Gavin Holohan replace Garry Buckley and then lastly Kieran Djilali replaced Billy Dennehy on the wing.
Sligo Rovers made one change to the side that was hoping to garner a second victory in the SSE Airtricity League this season with Eoin Wearen replacing former Bohemians team mate Kevin Devaney in midfield.
The previous game finished 1-1 up in Sligo at the start of the season. However this game wasn’t even a minute old when Karl Sheppard broke the deadlock when he scored underneath Richard Brush following a long ball out of defence.
Sligo Rovers had opportunities to draw level but all their dangerous crosses from Sander Puri were easily cleared by Dan Murray.
Extratime.ie man of the match Holohan rattled the Sligo post on eight minutes to nearly put City two up as they dominated the opening minutes of this contest.
Kevin O’Connor who made his debut nearly set up the second goal when his low ball across the box was flicked on by Mark O’Sullivan but cleared by Brush.
On 12 minutes City were then awarded a penalty when John Russell fouled Holohan, up stepped Sheppard but his shot was well saved by Brush.
City were now winning a large amount of corners as they looked to be in complete control of the game while Liam Miller and Colin Healy were controlling everything in the centre of the park.
On the half hour mark Sheppard had the lead doubled when O’Sullivan flicked the ball to Holohan who passed it to Holohan and then his pass found Miller whose shot hit the post from 12 yards only to fall to Sheppard who converted the rebound.
Sligo Rovers didn’t look like scoring with the Bit o’Red failing to threaten Mark McNulty, but they did manage to score on 38 minutes when Steven Beattie’s cross was tapped home by John Russell to make it 2-1.
Holohan headed off the crossbar from an O’Connor corner as the hour mark approached with City continuing to press for a third goal. With the game approaching its final quarter O’Sullivan let fly from the edge of the box but Brush was equal to the effort.
Sligo pressed up and were nearly done on the counterattack by City as Holohan broke from a corner and passed to Billy Dennehy but Danny Ledwith closed down the former Shamrock Rovers winger with the end result being a corner.
Kevin Devaney got the equaliser just moments later when he saw his header from a Russell corner saved by McNulty only for him to knock in the rebound.
City had a chance of a winner through O’Sullivan on in the final ten minutes but he blasted over from inside the box. John Caulfield’s side then had McNulty to thank two minutes from time for a vital save from a Devaney shot in a one on one situation.
With the game approaching injury time O’Sullivan did strike for his second goal in two games when he finished off a move on the edge of the box finding the bottom right hand corner.
Then in injury time Wearen had a chance of an equaliser but his shot from the edge of the box brought a great save out of McNulty as City held on for the three points.
Next up for Cork City is a home tie against Drogheda United in Turners Cross on Monday while Sligo Rovers will also next play Drogheda, one week from now.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Kavanagh, Darren Dennehy, Dan Murray, Kevin O’Connor; Kieran Djilali (Billy Dennehy 70), Colin Healy, Gavin Holohan (Danny Morrissey 82), Liam Miller, Karl Sheppard (Rob Lehane 85); Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Alan Smith (gk), Michael McSweeney, Liam Kearney, Garry Buckley.
Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush; Alan Keane (Raffaele Cretaro 90), Gary Boylan, Stephen Folan, Jake Dykes (Danny Ledwith 45); Stephen Beattie, John Russell, Eoin Wearen, David Cawley, Sander Puri (Kevin Devaney 70); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Ryan Coulter (gk), Keith Ward, Gary Armstrong, Ryan McManus.
Bookings: Keane (28), Cawley (33), Wearen (66).
Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gavin Holohan (Cork City)