Cork City returned to winning ways in Turner’s Cross in emphatic style with a 5-2 victory over Longford Town in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on Friday night.
After a dour few weeks at the Cross, which saw Cork City without a win in four, the Rebel Army came into Friday’s game with everything to play for.
From the opening whistle, City pressed and they didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock. With only six minutes gone, Steven Beattie broke down the wing and forced a corner. Kevin O’Connor’s delivery was met by Alan Bennett who rose above the Longford defence to head the ball into the top corner of Ryan Coulter’s goal.
Less than ten minutes later City doubled their lead when Gavan Holohan’s defence splitting pass found Sean Maguire who fired home.
Matters got worse for Longford Town soon after when centre-back Yann Mvita Nkelu fouled Alan Bennett in the box and the referee signalled to the spot. Up stepped Sean Maguire; and the Kilkenny man doubled his tally to put Cork 3-0 up with 26th minute gone.
A Kevin O’Connor cross slipped passed the goal mouth on the half hour mark while, minutes later, O’Connor set up Gavan Holohan who blasted his shot well over the bar. Seconds later a Steven Beattie forced corner led to Alan Bennett almost netting his second but his header landed safe in the keepers’ arms.
It was Longford who finished the half the strongest. A foul on Eddie Dsane led to a free kick for Longford which Kealon Dillon twisted through the wall and forced McNulty to parry the shot.
Moments later, City regained control when Maguire passed through to Stephen Dooley who ran his line only for Coulter to save. Longford, sensing the half time whistle, pressed, and their moment came when Eddie Dsane slipped the ball through for Peter McGlynn who hit a low shot past McNulty.
From the restart City pressed, and from an early corner, Maguire found Karl Sheppard in the box and he slipped a fourth passed Coulter.
Minutes later, Steven Dooley set up his fellow winger Sheppard to have a shot just wide of the post. From here, Caulfield switched around his team; taking off Browne for David Mulcahy and Gearoid Morrissey for Colin Healy. Mathews also forced his hand taking off Kevin O Connor for Mark Hughes. Moments later, a Kevin O Connor free found Mulcahy who headed wide at the back post.
Substitute Chidozie Ogbene almost extended City’s lead when the 18 year old winger dribbled through the Longford defence but his shot hit the post.
In stoppage time, Longford pulled a goal back thanks to Peter McGlynn who found space through a tight City defence and with a powerful shot. In the final moments, a square ball by Chidozie Ogbene found Karl Sheppard and the winger fired well passed Coulter to restore City’s three goal lead.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Kenny Browne (Dave Mulcahy), Alan Bennett, Gavan Holohan, Steven Beattie; Kevin O’Connor, Greg Bolger, Stephen Dooley (Chiedozie Ogbene), Gearoid Morrissey (Colin Healy); Karl Sheppard, Seani Maguire
Subs Not Used: Matthew Conor, Garry Buckley, Mark O’Sullivan
Longford Town: R. Coulter; Rhys Gorman, Conor Powell, Yann Mvita (Pat Flynn), Philip Gannon; Kevin O’Connor (Mark Hughes), Jamie Mulhall, Kealan Dillion, Paul McGlynn; Kaleem Simon, Eddie Dsane
Subs Not Used: Paul Skinner, Tristan Noack-Hofman, Cian Fay, Karl Chambers
Referee: Paul McLaughlin