Wednesday 26 April 2017

Sean Maguire on the mark again as Cork equal wins record

Cork City 3-0 Derry City

Sean Maguire of Cork City celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Derry City at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Sean Maguire of Cork City celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Derry City at Turner's Cross in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Denis Hurley

While it wasn’t always inevitable at Turner’s Cross that Cork City would equal the all-time league record for consecutive wins from the start of the season, in the end they were comfortable victors.

The opening half-hour was very much lacking in quality, but once the hosts took the lead through Garry Buckley, they never looked like being denied the three points.

The outcome was settled when Karl Sheppard and then Sean Maguire scored early in the second-half, as John Caulfield’s side equaled the record of the team he played in in 1998-99, and the Sligo Rovers side of 2013 in going eight straight from the outset.

Interestingly, neither of the other two sides managed to win the league, but of more immediate importance is the chance to keep the run going away to Bohemians next week.

If there is a concern, it is that another lacklustre opening from the Rebel Army may be punished.

While Maguire had an early chance, Gerard Doherty was quick off his line to smother the striker’s effort, it was Derry who looked more likely to score for much of the first half. Nicky Low drew a save from Mark McNulty after a corner, while Nathan Boyle, after good work from Aaron McEneff and Mikhail Kennedy, also had an opportunity but he too was denied by the home goalkeeper.

Cork got going though, and after Sheppard drew a foul just outside the area, Kevin O’Connor’s floated, curling effort was heading for the top corner until Doherty intervened.

The home fans among the attendance of 5,275 wouldn’t have much longer to wait, however, after Maguire set Stephen Dooley away on the left, he showed great skill and pace to get into the box and his low ball across was turned in by Buckley from close range.

Maguire fired a half-volley over as Cork asserted themselves, and they made that superiority count early in the second-half but not before O’Connor was called upon to make a good block on Kennedy.

The lead was doubled when Gearoid Morrissey, impressive again alongside Conor McCormack in midfield, produced a wonderful pass for Sheppard to run on and finish coolly.

Kennedy was almost afforded a way to get Derry back into it soon after that, but McNulty recovered his own slip in time, and then on 65, the home side made the game safe.

Inevitably, it was Maguire who was on hand for his ninth goal in nine games since the President’s Cup in February, though Derry had ample opportunity to alleviate the danger before Conor McDermott’s clearance hit Low and Maguire seized possession and fired past Doherty.

Buckley should have had a fourth after some lovely build-up play, and McEneff’s rasper was touched onto the bar by McNulty, maintaining the clean sheet as City equalled the record.

Cork City – McNulty; Keohane, Bennett, Delaney, O’Connor; McCormack, Morrissey (Ellis 81), Sheppard (Beattie 76), Buckley, Dooley (Griffin 84), Maguire.

Derry City – Doherty; Shubert (Timlin 61), McDermott, Barry, Jarvis; McEneff, Low; Boyle (Daniels 61), Monaghan, Curtis; Kennedy.

Ref – R Harvey (Dublin).

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