Saturday 22 July 2017

Cork hold off late rally to extend perfect start

Cork City 2 Bray Wanderers 1

Cork's John Dunleavy celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Bray Wanderers. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cork's John Dunleavy celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Bray Wanderers. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Denis Hurley

They were nervously holding on after the concession of a late goal, but Cork City were not to be denied an 11th straight league win at Turner's Cross last night.

After captain John Dunleavy headed home Kevin O'Connor's corner on 88 to make it 2-0, City conceded to Derek Foran in injury-time and the remainder of the game was a series of clearances, but they held out.

While it could have been more comfortable for John Caulfield's side, there was no denying that they deserved the three points, playing some great stuff in the first half, when they really should have extended the lead afforded them by Sean Maguire's early penalty.

That they didn't was down to a combination of less-than-clincial finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Peter Cherrie.

Cork's Conor McCormack in action against Aaron Greene of Bray Wanderers at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cork's Conor McCormack in action against Aaron Greene of Bray Wanderers at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The opening goal came early and while there may be misgivings in Dundalk about it being another spot-kick, City almost scored just before that.

From goalkeeper Mark McNulty's clearance, Karl Sheppard did well to take the ball down and his shot hit the post, rebounding off Cherrie.

From Stephen Dooley's corner, referee Paul McLaughlin deemed Bray defender Foran to be holding Ryan Delaney from the resultant spot-kick Maguire sent Cherrie the wrong way for his ninth league goal of the season.

Maguire (twice), Sheppard and Stephen Dooley were all denied by Cherrie while Conor McCormack excelled in midfield for City.

Early in the second period, the visitors looked likelier to score, with McCormack taking John Sullivan's effort off the line, while Dylan Connolly had a good chance too but blazed wide.

Dunleavy's goal, coming just after Cherrie had denied him with a fingertip save from Dooley's corner, made the most of his second chance.

Foran threatened to upset things but it was too late and City weren't to be denied.

Cork City - McNulty, Beattie, Dunleavy, Delaney, O'Connor; McCormack, Morrissey; Sheppard, Bolger (Keohane 59), Dooley (Griffin 73); Maguire (Ellis 90).

Bray Wanderers - Cherrie; Buckley, Clancy, Foran, Marks; Brennan (Flood 77), Salmon (Moore 73), Sullivan, Connolly; Greene, McCabe (Aherne 85).

Ref - P McLaughlin (Monaghan).

Irish Independent

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