Thursday 19 April 2018

Cork miss chance to close gap on Dundalk as they slump to shock defeat

Cork City 1 Sligo Rovers 2

Kieran Sadlier, centre, of Sligo Rovers celebrates with team-mates Raffael Cretaro, left, and Achille Campion
Kieran Sadlier, centre, of Sligo Rovers celebrates with team-mates Raffael Cretaro, left, and Achille Campion

Cork City missed out on the chance to cut the gap on Premier Division leaders Dundalk as Sligo Rovers moved up to fifth with this win at Turner’s Cross last night.

Having exited the Europa League against Belgian side Genk last week, City found it difficult to get into a rhythm in the first half.

While they had the better of the play in the opening minutes, they fell behind in the eighth minute when goalkeeper Mark McNulty sent a clearance straight to Kieran Sadlier, who found the empty net from 30 yards.

That setback roused the Rebel Army, but while they pressed hard for most of the rest of the first half, they couldn’t sufficiently test Micheal Schlingermann in the Sligo goal.

Mark O’Sullivan, one of three additions to the team along with new signing Dave Mulcahy and Karl Sheppard since the Genk game, was the focal point of the attack and went close with a couple of headers, and Gearoid Morrissey also had a shot saved.

Just before half-time, though, it got worse for John Caulfield’s side as Raffaele Cretaro waltzed through the home defence. He had rounded McNulty and was about to tap in but Greg Bolger made an attempt at a saving tackle and was the last to touch the ball before it crossed the line.

In front of 2,575, City upped the ante on the resumption and Sheppard almost had a goal inside 30 seconds only to be denied by Schlingermann.

Kevin O’Connor and Sheppard again had chances but the keeper was in inspired form while right-back Tobi Adebayo-Rawlings made a great block on Sean Maguire’s shot and then Maguire shot over.

In the 76th minute, City got a glimmer of hope when O’Sullivan – who had had a penalty shout ruled out just beforehand – drew a foul in the area from Jimmy Keohane.

Maguire stroked his spot-kick down the middle, but equalising chances were rare.

Ian Turner shot over while at the death there was a scramble, but Sligo held out.

CORK CITY – McNulty; Beattie, Mulcahy, Browne, O’Connor; Bolger, G Morrissey (Buckley 70); Sheppard (D Morrissey 55), Maguire, Dooley (Turner 77); O’Sullivan.

SLIGO ROVERS – Schlingermann; Adebayo-Rowlings, Leahy, Boylan (Peers 63), Keohane; McCann, Roddan, Martin; Campion, Cretaro (Russell 72), Sadlier (Place 87).

Ref – R Harvey (Dublin).

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