Karl Sheppard on fire as Cork move into second
Cork City 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 0
Cork City moved up to second in the Premier Division table at Turner’s Cross as Karl Sheppard scored for the third consecutive game.
A third win in eight days – Finn Harps and Shamrock Rovers also seen off – has banished the memory of three consecutive draws to become Dundalk’s closest challengers again.
John Caulfield’s side had just one change from the team that beat Rovers, as Kenny Browne – once of Pat’s – came back in for Michael McSweeney following his suspension for the red card against Finn Harps last week.
The visitors, beaten by Bray Wanderers last Saturday, had four alterations.
With goalkeeper Brendan Clare suspended and his
deputy Conor O’Malley injured, Pat Jennings got the nod; former City man Darren Dennehy was in at centre-back for Lee Desmond, Shane McEleney took over from Graham Kelly and Dinny Corcoran was picked in attack instead of Christy Fagan.
While there was no early goal for the hosts as in the wins over Harps and Rovers, they did begin well with Steven Beattie and Garry Buckley having half-chances.
The Saints’ brothers Billy and Darren Dennehy drew negative attention from the City faithful that once cheered them, but on 14 minutes Darren went close with a header from a corner. While City were doing well in keeping possession, chances were few but their next opportunity, in the 25th minute, brought the opener.
After Garry Buckley did well to win possession, he spread the ball wide to Sheppard. His shot took just enough of a deflection off right-back Michael Barker to loop over Jennings’ dive, giving the attacker a third goal in eight days.
That settled Cork and more efforts came.
Another by Sheppard caught Barker but ballooned over, Seán Maguire miscued from close range after Beattie sent Sheppard’s ball back across goal and then Beattie was wide with a follow-up when Darren Dennehy blocked Maguire.
The lead remained at half-time and, in front of 2,769 people, the home team continued to set the tone upon the resumption, with Sheppard not far away with an attempted lob of Jennings from distance.
A Buckley long-ranger hit Darren Dennehy on the hand but referee Derek Tomney refused any penalty appeals.
Late on, Buckley’s through-ball for Maguire was just too close to Jennings and then the striker’s replacement Mark O’Sullivan, was denied by a fine Sean Hoare challenge.
CORK CITY – McNulty; Dunleavy, Bennett, Browne, O’Connor; G Morrissey, Bolger; Beattie (D Morrissey 81), Buckley, Sheppard (Healy 90); Maguire (O’Sullivan 74).
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC – Jennings; Barker, Hoare, D Dennehy, Bermingham; McEleney (Kelly 75), Cawley; Byrne (Treacy 62), Timlin, B Dennehy; Corcoran (McGrath 62).
Ref – D Tomney (Dublin).