Good Sheppard completes Cork comeback
Cork City 2 Dundalk 2
Cork City came from behind to draw with League champions Dundalk last night at Turners Cross in front of 2,618 supporters.
Dundalk made the perfect start going two ahead inside 25 minutes through David McMillan and Richie Towell.
Cork City, who will face Dundalk in the Aviva Stadium in the FAI Cup final next month, responded with two first-half goals from Karl Sheppard and Mark O'Sullivan to earn a draw.
Cork City made four changes from the side which beat St Patrick's Athletic away on Monday with Dan Murray, Liam Kearney, Mark O'Sullivan and Liam Miller replacing Gary Buckley, Danny Morrissey, Alan Bennett and Darren Dennehy.
Dundalk had a scoreless draw with Galway United last Friday and manager Stephen Kenny made wholesale changes to the team with John Mountney, Andy Boyle, Ronan Finn and Chris Shields retaining their places in the starting 11 .
The game was only 11 minutes when Dundalk made the breakthrough as a Daryl Horgan free from near the sideline found the unmarked McMillan, who finished from close range.
Dundalk had most of the ball and their second arrived on 25 minutes as Horgan linked up with Finn whose ball found Towell and he smashed the ball to the net from outside the box.
City, however, came into the game at that point and pulled one back three minutes after Towell's strike, when Sheppard's cross was finished at the front post by O'Sullivan for his 10th league goal of the season.
Mark McNulty excellently denied Mountney's curling shot minutes later as the game's tempo improved.
Sheppard's equaliser arrived eight minutes before the break when Ross Gaynor's corner was headed in at the back post.
The second half was exciting but not as incident-packed with Gary Rodgers denying Sheppard after 68 minutes while minutes later Ciaran Kilduff shot over.
Towell fired narrowly wide five minutes from time but O'Sullivan had a chance to win it on 93 minutes but Rodgers was quick off his line to clinch the draw.
Cork City - McNulty; McSweeney, Murray, Dunleavy, Gaynor; Miller, O'Connor; Beattie (O'Flynn 80), Kearney (Dennehy 55), Sheppard; O'Sullivan
Dundalk - Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Mountney (Maguire 81), Towell, Shields (Poynton 65), Finn, Horgan; McMillan (Kilduff 70)
Ref - P Tuite (Dublin)