Bennett helps Cork close gap on Dundalk to five points
St Patrick's Athletic 1 Cork City 3
CORK CITY- McNulty; McSweeney, Murray, D Dennehy, Gaynor; Healy (Kearney h-t), O'Connor (Coleman 90); B Dennehy (O'Flynn 82), Buckley, Sheppard; O'Sullivan
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC - Clarke; O'Brien, McGuinness, Desmond, Bermingham; Byrne; Chambers, McEleney (Bolger 42), Verdon (Markey 75), Langley; McGrath.
REF - N Doyle (Dublin).
Cork City recorded a second win over St Patrick's Athletic at Turner's Cross in the space of 11 days as they moved to within five points of leaders Dundalk.
John Caulfield's side, who have now won three in a row since losing at Shamrock Rovers - including a 4-0 FAI Cup win over Pat's - always looked likelier winners here. They pressed hard before captain Alan Bennett's opener and then added two more before Morgan Langley gave the visitors some hope when he pulled a goal back in the 65th minute.
Despite the absence of Colin Healy (injured), Dan Murray and Steven Beattie (both suspended), City had enough experience in their side to see out the game for victory.
Having won a club record nine games in a row recently, this result represented a fourth defeat in all competitions for Liam Buckley's side, who now lie eight points behind City in the race for second place.
The home team began well, with Mark O'Sullivan denied by Brendan Clarke in the first minute, and there were further chances for Garry Buckley and Kevin O'Connor as the busy Pat's keeper proved his worth.
Clarke couldn't reach Billy Dennehy's cross after a corner on 22 minutes, however, and Bennett was on hand to finish from close range.
Six minutes later, the lead was doubled as the excellent O'Connor profited from good work by O'Sullivan to slot home, and though Ian Bermingham and James Chambers had chances for Pat's before half-time, City were full value for their 2-0 interval lead.
While Jamie McGrath went close for the visitors immediately after the restart, City grabbed a third just before the hour when Darren Dennehy headed Garry Buckley's corner home.
Langley did find the net for Pat's following Ger O'Brien's good cross, but the life seeped out of the game thereafter as City comfortably closed things out.