O'Donnell pounces late on to deny Cork victory
Cork City 2 Dundalk 2
Cork City's late concession woe continued at Turner's Cross last night as Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell earned his side a point with an 88th-minute strike.
A penalty from Daryl Kavanagh in the 64th minute looked to have eased some pressure on Cork manager Tommy Dunne, but they wilted in the face of late pressure and O'Donnell – a former Cork player – poked home at the second attempt after Mark McNulty had saved his initial effort.
Cork appeared likelier winners for long periods. Within three minutes of the start, Ciaran Kilduff got his second goal in as many home games, volleying home acrobatically from Neal Horgan's cross.
Gearoid Morrissey was impressing in midfield for City and Daryl Horgan twice hit the frame of the goal, while Kilduff was denied by a great Brian Gartland block on the line in the 22nd minute.
Cork were suspect from set-pieces, however, and a minute later Gartland equalised as he was unmarked to head Darren Meenan's free home. After Kalen Spillane had a good effort blocked at the other end, Gartland looked to have put Dundalk ahead with almost a carbon copy of his goal, but referee Robert Rogers had blown for a free kick to Cork.
It remained level at half-time, and bar a Francis McCaffrey chance which Mark McNulty saved, Cork dominated the opening quarter-of-an-hour of the second half. Garry Buckley was denied by Peter Cherrie and then Cork were given a penalty after Daryl Horgan was fouled by John Sullivan.
Kavanagh converted, despite Cherrie getting a touch, and as the half wore on the goalkeeper needed to save acrobatically to keep out a thundering 30-yarder from the same player.
CORK CITY – McNulty; N Horgan, D Murray, Spillane, Murphy; Kavanagh (Turner 90), D Morrissey, Dunleavy, Buckley, D Horgan; Kilduff.
DUNDALK – Cherrie; Sullivan, Gartland, Rossiter, Massey (Shields half-time); Meehan, McCaffrey (Keegan 64), McDonnell (Kelly 59), O'Donnell, Byrne; Hoban.
Ref – R Rogers (Dublin).