Saturday 21 April 2018

Athlone are hit for seven as Rebels expose gulf in class

Cork City 7 Athlone Town 0

Cork City players celebrate after Garry Buckley, hidden, scored their side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Finn Harps and Cork City at Finn Park in Ballybofey, Donegal. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Cork City players celebrate after Garry Buckley, hidden, scored their side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Finn Harps and Cork City at Finn Park in Ballybofey, Donegal. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Cork City’s place in the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup was never in doubt as Athlone Town were easily seen off at Turner’s Cross last night.

Kieran Sadlier’s goal had City in command inside 65 seconds of kick-off and they pushed on from there, with chances continuously being created as Athlone were kept on the back foot throughout.

Before 1,669 people, Karl Sheppard’s cross allowed Sadlier to head home to put Cork ahead and the cup holders’ lead was doubled on ten minutes when Robbie Williams’ ball over the top allowed Sheppard to finish.

It was always only a question of how much City would win by and Sheppard and Garry Buckley had chances to extend the lead.

Impressive left-back Shane Griffin set up striker Connor Ellis for the third goal on the half-hour and Sadlier would have had a second but for a good block by defender Stephen Walsh. Nevertheless, in injury-time Buckley made it 4-0 from another Sheppard cross.

The second period provided no respite for the visitors, with Ellis going close while sub Achille Campion was denied by Igor Labuts and the ’keeper also tipped a Sadlier effort over on the hour mark.

From the resultant  corner, Campion headed home Griffin’s delivery and on 76 minutes Ellis got his second and the Rebel Army’s sixth, the rebound following Labuts’ save from Campion.

At the very end, Campion rounded things off with his second, set up by Sadlier.

CORK CITY – McNulty; Beattie, Williams (Phillips 67), Delaney (McCarthy h-t), Griffin; McCormack, Buckley (Campion h-t), Sheppard, Keohane, Sadlier; Ellis.

ATHLONE TOWN – Labuts; McCartan, Folan, Walsh, McGrane; Sfrijan, Spelman (Silva h-t); Layng, Gaffey (Carmody 56), Nkololo; Curran (P Walsh 74).

Ref – R Hennessy (Dublin)

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