Wednesday 21 March 2018

Airtricity Round-up: Cork grind out Longford victory while Limerick remained rooted to the bottom

17 April 2015; Billy Dennehy, Cork City, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Drogheda United v Cork City. United Park, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
17 April 2015; Billy Dennehy, Cork City, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Drogheda United v Cork City. United Park, Drogheda, Co. Louth. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE Newsdesk Newsdesk

Cork City 2 Longford 0

Leadership of the Premier Division will be up for grabs when Cork City clash with Dundalk at Turner’s Cross on Friday night following the Rebel Army’s win over Longford Town.

It wasn’t vintage stuff from the home side, but it didn’t need to be as the game ceased to be a contest following Colin Healy’s goal in the 66th minute to double the lead for John Caulfield’s side.

Before that, City had struggled at times for complete fluency but had taken the lead through Garry Buckley’s header four minutes before the break.

After Billy Dennehy’s cross hit the post, Buckley nodded home from close range. Soon after, Mark O’Sullivan should have added a second when left unmarked from another Dennehy delivery but he headed wide. Before that, Longford’s Gary Shaw had a great chance in the opening minutes but he clipped his shot over the bar after Jamie Mulhall played him in.

It was the closest they came to upsetting the odds, and Healy’s goal – a free-kick from the left which travelled all the way to the net – decided matters.

Cork City – McNulty; Kavanagh, Murray, D Dennehy, Gaynor; Healy, Miller (Holohan 81); Djilali (Lehane 55), Buckley, B Dennehy; O’Sullivan (Morrissey 70).

Longford Town – Skinner; Mulhall, Flynn, Tyrell, Powell; Simon, Rice, Gorman, O’Connor, Deady (Ben Mohamed 61); Shaw (O’Sullivan 72).

Ref – J McKell (Tipperary).

St Patrick’s Ath      2

Drogheda Utd       2

After seeing his team dominate from the start St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley must be wondering how Drogheda United left with a share of the spoils.

Saints were the better side throughout but substitute Lee Duffy’s penalty seven minutes from the end snatched what could turn out to be a crucial point for Drogheda.

After a couple of early defeats, Pat’s are already playing catch-up and despite the fact that they are now unbeaten in six league games, they still don’t look as fluid as they did at times last season.

Pat’s dominated the first half but it was Drogheda who opened the scoring to stun the Richmond Park crowd, who prior to last night’s game hadn’t seen their side concede a goal at home this season.

Chris Forrester had already rattled the crossbar before Drogs’ Jason Marks made a mess of his shot when he was played through one-on-one with the keeper after half an hour.

Marks made amends four minutes later, when he turned provider for Lloyd Buckley to score his second goal in two games.  The Pat’s defence failed to deal with Marks’ corner and the centre-half was quickest to react to the scramble that ensued and he poked the ball home.

Ian Bermingham and Forrester both went close for Saints before they eventually equalised a minute before the break.

Bermingham’s cross was met by the unmarked Conan Byrne at the back post and he headed into the back of the net.

Byrne had two gilt-edged chances to double his and Pat’s tally five minutes after the restart but he squandered both.

Ciaran Kilduff was on the periphery for the first hour of the game but he popped up on the hour mark to give Saints the lead.

Alan Byrne slipped and Kilduff capitalised when he nicked the ball and finished well across Michael Schlingermann.

The Drogs keeper tipped an Aaron Greene header onto the bar shortly after and pushed Killian Brennan’s free-kick around the post to keep his side in it.

Much to the frustration of the home crowd, Forrester and Kilduff both missed chances to seal the win as the tension began to mount and so it told.

Former Pat’s player Daryl Kavanagh was tripped by Lee Desmond inside the area for a certain penalty and up stepped Duffy to dispatch the spot-kick and snatch a point.

St Patrick’s Athletic – O’Malley; O’Brien (c), Browne, Desmond, Bermingham; Chambers (McGrath 86), Greene, Brennan; Forrester (Bolger 78), Kilduff, Byrne (Langley 65).

Drogheda United – Schlingermann; McGowan, Buckley, Byrne, Gorman; Brady, Daly (c), Thornton (Hughes 65), Marks (Walsh 78); Kavanagh; Mulveanna (Duffy 65).

Ref – R Harvey (Dublin)

Limerick O Derrcy City 2

LIMERICK FC remain rooted to the foot of the Premier Division after a third consecutive defeat, leaving them winless after nine league games in 2015.

Barry McNamee's 25th-minute penalty and a Mark Timlin strike just before half-time secured the points for Derry, who were good value for the three points against a home side evidently bereft of confidence and quality.

The home side did had two decent opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, Ger Doherty denying Paul O'Conor from close range and, shortly afterwards, Shane Duggan's shot being cleared to safety by Seanan Clucas.   

The game swung in Derry's favour midway through the first half when Conor O'Donnell took down Patrick McEleney for a clear penalty, which McNamee converted. Timlin doubled the lead with the final kick of the first half, a curling shot into the far corner of the Limerick net.

The second half was largely uneventful, with Peter Hutton's team comfortably maintaining their lead and Limerick unable to muster any  scoring opportunities until Darragh Rainsford hit the post in added time.

LIMERICK FC – O'Donnell; Harding, Price, Williams (Whitehead 90+1), Tracy (Turner 73); Hughes (Hanlon 73), O'Conor, Duggan; Clarke, Faherty, Russell.

DERRY CITY – Doherty; Sharkey (Curran 76), S McEleney, Barry, Jarvis; McNamee, Clucas; Timlin, Lowry, Houston; P McEleney (Boyle 90+5).

REF – D Tomney (Dublin).

Sligo Rovers 0 Bohemians 0

Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Richard Brush was in top form as the Bit O’Red and Bohemians played out a scoreless draw at the Showgrounds last night.

Brush made a number of excellent saves as the home side recorded their first clean sheet at home in the league this season.

Former Bohs winger Steven Beattie, back in the team following injury, went close on 20 minutes with a stinging shot from the edge of the area that bounced off the crossbar.

But the visitors were solid throughout and forced three good saves from Brush in the opening half.

Adam Evans was first to test the netminder after breaking into the area on 10 minutes, while Brush had to dive full-length to keep out Dean Kelly’s volley 10 minutes before the break.

Kelly went even closer with a header just before half-time, but the ball came back off the crossbar.

Kelly went close once again in the second half, getting in behind the Rovers defence to latch onto a pass from Evans, but Brush was quickly off his line to save again.

Sligo – Brush, Keane, Boylan, Folan, Dykes, Beattie, Cawley, Russell, Puri, Ward (Armstrong 80), Nielsen.

Bohemians – Delaney, Pender, Prendergast, Murphy, Fitzgerald, Kavanagh, Mulcahy, Lopes, O’Brien, Evans (Dillon 90), Kelly (Griffin 85).

Ref – R Rogers.

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