Caulfield delighted to see 'fatigued' side sink Sligo
Sligo Rovers 0 Cork City 2
It was far from vintage Cork, but City boss John Caulfield praised his "fatigued" side after a hard-fought three points in Sligo took them back to the Premier Division summit.
Goals in either half, from the ruthless Kieran Sadlier and Graham Cummins, secured a third victory of the season for the reigning champions against Sligo.
And Caulfield was satisfied. "You don't come here and get an easy game. Sligo are a very good side, and they have been on a very good run. But we started on fire. Kieran Sadlier got a great goal and we had three more great opportunities inside the first 20-25 minutes to get a second goal, but we didn't.
"We looked a little bit fatigued from our third game in a week and we weren't our usual selves. But, at the same time, they had only one chance in 93 minutes, and, over the game, we created enough to get the second goal.
"But we had to rely on Graham to get us a phenomenal, fantastic header in the last 10 minutes. He is brilliant at that."
Sadlier rattled the net against his former side after just 53 seconds of the contest, before another ex-Sligo man, Steven Beattie, provided the pinpoint cross for Cummins to power home with 10 minutes left.
But just before the second goal, Rovers youngster Liam Kerrigan came off the bench and flicked the ball goalwards from close range with his first touch, only for Mark McNulty to make a brilliant reaction save to push the ball on to the crossbar.
An impressive Rovers also saw a first-half goal ruled out when the referee's assistant ruled that the ball had crossed the endline before David Cawley pulled it back for Alistair Roy to finish.
Boss Gerard Lyttle was both proud and disappointed.
"I thought we were the better team for 75 minutes. We played all the football. I think for any neutral watching that game, we looked like the team challenging for the title. We played the right way, and we played some good attacking football.
"But we didn't get any points, and that is the disappointing thing.
"That's why Cork are league champions, and that is why they are top of the league. They get the job done, whatever it takes. And that's the level we need to try to get to."
SLIGO - Beeney, Sharkey, Callan-McFadden (Donelon 14), Mahon, McClean, Cawley, McCabe, Wixted, Roy (Kerrigan 76), McAleer (Cretaro 61), Morrison.
CORK - McNulty, Horgan (Griffin h-t), Bennett, McLoughlin, Kane (Beattie 78), McCormack, Keohane, Buckley, Sadlier (McNamee 74), Sheppard, Cummins.
REF - R Rogers.