Sunday 26 February 2017

O'Connor stuns Cork to boost survival push

Cork City 2 Limerick 3

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Vinny Faherty is congratulated by Dean Clark after scoring Limerick’s first goal
Vinny Faherty is congratulated by Dean Clark after scoring Limerick’s first goal
Limerick F.C's Shane Duggan celebrates with team-mate Darragh Rainsford after defeating Cork City
Cork City's John O'Flynn celebrates scoring his side's second goal
Cork City's Dan Murray and John O'Flynn leave the field dejected after their defeat to Limerick

Paudie O'Connor 65th-minute goal gave Limerick three priceless points as they shocked Cork City at Turner's Cross.

Going into this game, the home team had conceded only 11 league goals but they struggled to find a spark here and can have no complaints with the outcome.

The defeat is a big blow to their title hopes, especially with a trip to Shamrock Rovers on Monday, but Limerick will believe that they can now make a big push for survival in the Premier Division.

Vinny Faherty had the visitors ahead inside seven minutes, but even before that they had threatened as Lee Lynch tested Mark McNulty from long range after a loose clearance.

City didn't make the most of that let-off and their defence was split by a nice ball from Lynch, allowing Faherty to finish low to the corner.

Limerick could even have gone two in front on 10, when Sean Russell set Dean Clarke away. He used his pace to good effect as he cut in from the left but his shot just let him down.

Evading

While City were unlucky to lose captain John Dunleavy after a clash of heads with Paudie O'Connor, it was his replacement, Ross Gaynor, who levelled after 21 minutes, his low cross from the right evading everybody, including goalkeeper Freddy Hall.

Just before the half-hour mark, Dan Murray should really have put City ahead but he shot over from Karl Sheppard's low cross and soon after that Limerick were in front again.

With the home side loose at the back, Russell was able to play in Ian Turner and though McNulty saved from him, Dean Clarke was on hand to finish.

That lead remained until half-time and Limerick could have gone two ahead early in the second half when McNulty's clearance rebounded off Faherty but ran just the other side of the post. Then, on 55, City were level again.

From a corner they were lucky to get after Hall looked to have been fouled, Colin Healy's delivery led to a scramble and half-time sub John O'Flynn bundled the ball home.

One would have expected John Caulfield's side to push on and get their tenth league victory in 12 games, but Limerick found a third goal.

Once more, Russell played a key part as he sent over an inviting delivery from a free-kick on the right, allowing O'Connor to glance home.

Dan Murray, Steven Beattie and O'Flynn all had chances as City poured forward looking for a third equaliser, but Limerick weren't to be denied.

CORK CITY - McNulty; Healy, Bennett, Murray, O'Connor; Miller, Dunleavy (Gaynor 18); Beattie, Buckley, Sheppard; O'Sullivan (O'Flynn h-t).

LIMERICK - Hall; Paul O'Conor, Paudie O'Connor, Williams, Tracy; Turner, Lynch, Duggan, Clarke (Rainsford 90); Russell (Agyemang 83); Faherty.

Ref - D McKeon (Dublin)

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