Cork City suffered yet another set back in their early title ambitions, as they drew 2-2 with high flying Galway United in Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
Galway opened the scoring after just five minutes, when Ryan Connolly’s corner was cleared back to the former Derby County man. He put it back into the box at the second time of asking, and Vinny Faherty’s glancing header beat Mark McNulty at the back post.
Cork City’s first real chance came in the 14th minute, when Ian Turner’s corner met the head of Alan Bennett but his header went just wide of Conor Winn’s goal.
Stephen Dooley equalised in the 18th minute on the counter attack. Bennett punted the ball forward to the ex-Derry man, who with an excellent finish put the ball into the bottom right corner of the net
City nearly took the lead in four minutes later, when Ian Turner’s cross was taken down by Karl Sheppard, but the striker’s shot went into the grasp of the keeper.
Galway took the lead once again after the half hour mark. A poor pass from the City defence feel to Gary Shanahan, who lobbed the on rushing McNulty.
The last chance of the half fell to Steven Beattie who tried to get Cork City back on level terms. His header went over the bar from Turner’s crossbar and so Galway went into the dressing room with the half time lead.
The second period kicked off with Gearoid Morrissey on in place of Turner. An own goal from Kilian Cantwell got the Leesiders back on terms in the 69th minute. As a corner was whipped in by Stephen Dooley, there was nothing that the defender could do, as the ball tumbled past the line.
Sheppard tried to steer Cork City back into the lead soon after. The ball came to him after Cork City cleared from the back, but his chip just went wide. The man who put Cork City back on level terms turned from hero to villain, as Cantwell cleared Danny Morrisseys low shot off the line.
Galway nearly scored themselves up the other end of the pitch with chances for Faherty and Padraic Cunningham. The latter’s shot hit the bar and things were getting very nervy for both sides in the closing 10 minutes.
Stephen Folan nearly made his former side rue the day he left, when his header from a Galway United free kick was well saved by McNutly and City somehow managed to scramble it away for a corner, which came to nothing.
The last chance of the game fell to the visitors. Sheppard’s header following Stephen Dooley corner, but he couldn’t direct his header on target. The result sees Cork City currently seven points behind last seasons title rivals Dundalk, with a game in hand to be played at home to Shamrock Rovers. Galway United are in fifth place but will likely see this as a point gained.
Galway United: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Stephen Folan, Killian Cantwell, Stephen Walsh; Gary Shanahan, John Sullivan, Ryan Connolly, Conor Melody; Vinny Faherty; Ruairi Keating (Padraic Cunningham, 68)
Subs not used: Kevin Horgan (GK), Marc Ludden, Alex Byrne, Paul Sinnott, Eric Foley.
Booked: Gary Shanahan (19), Ruairi Keating (25), Vinny Faherty (47).
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Eoghan O’Connell, Alan Bennett, Kenny Browne, John Dunleavy (Danny Morrissey); Stephen Dooley, Garry Buckley, Greg Bolger, Stephen Beattie (Mark O’Sullivan), Ian Turner (Gearoid Morrissey); Karl Sheppard.
Subs not used: Alan Smith (GK), Colin Healy, Gavan Holohan, Sean Maguire.
Booked: Gary Buckley (24), Greg Bolger (60), Kenny Browne (60), Eoghan O’Connell (67).
Referee: Robert Rogers.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Conor Winn (Galway United)