John Caulfield hails Cork City troops after comprehensive win over Bohs
Cork City 3 Bohemians 0
Cork City manager John Caulfield praised the attitude of his side as they bounced backed from Friday's draw with Limerick with victory over Bohemians at Turner's Cross yesterday.
The league champions were comfortable winners over the Gypsies in front of 4,265 in the bank holiday cold, moving four points clear of Dundalk at the top, albeit with one more game played.
Caulfield was pleased that there was a strong response after dropping two points on Shannonside.
"Overall, our attitude was really good and we were on the front foot," he said. "A 3-0 win at home to Bohemians is something you'd always be pleased with.
"I keep saying that it's all about attitude, every game is going to be a battle, teams are coming to try to knock you down, you have to be ready.
"Bohs played good football at times but our defence was good. It was a big reaction from the other night. There are no easy games, Friday night proved that, people were disappointed we didn't win but at the same time we didn't do enough to win so it was important to bounce back."
Centre-half Seán McLoughlin, fresh from winning the intervarsities player of the year award at the FAI Awards on Sunday night, was man of the match as City made it three clean sheets from three at home, despite the continued absence of Alan Bennett and Steven Beattie.
"Seán was really good," Caulfield said. "He knows the level of performance that he needs, Conor McCarthy did well at right-back too, they're two young, local lads who've come in and done well.
"The team worked hard and did well. In the second half, the energy levels dropped, it was our fourth game in 11 days so we lost a bit of our zip, Karl Sheppard came in and gave us more impetus."
City went into the game without a goal in open play since the 4-1 win over Sligo Rovers but started well and Kieran Sadlier went close to opening the scoring, his shot blocked by colleague Graham Cummins.
The next time the Rebel Army created an opening, Cummins also had a team-mate's shot hit off him but this time the connection was enough to engineer a goal. When Conor McCarthy set Barry McNamee away down the right, his low cross was met by Jimmy Keohane, his effort going past the dive of Shane Supple with the aid of a deflection off Cummins.
Within three minutes, the lead was doubled, as City were awarded a penalty for the third successive game. Cummins' pass gave Conor McCormack space on the right and he aimed for Sadlier with his cross but it was intercepted by a handball from Bohs' Rob Cornwall.
As he had done against Shamrock Rovers last Monday and Limerick on Friday, Sadlier made no mistake from the spot, with Supple given no chance by his rising effort.
With such a cushion, it was difficult to foresee anything but a City win, even at that early stage, and McNamee went close to a third, his low free-kick curling wide.
On the resumption, Cummins went close with a low shot from Keohane's pass and when Bohs did try to create openings, Shane Griffin and Seán McLoughlin made excellent blocks to deny Dylan Watts and Jonathan Lunney respectively.
City sought a third and might have got it through Keohane, though Morris was alert to the danger, while Supple was quick off his line when Keohane's through ball nearly put Cummins in.
Sub Sheppard also went close, Dan Casey denying him, but Sheppard did get the third in the 87th minute. When McNamee rolled the ball to him from a free kick, he rasped a shot to the top corner in front of the Shed End, leaving the home faithful heading home cold but happy.
CORK CITY - McNulty; McCarthy, Barry, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Keohane; McNamee, Buckley (Morrissey 25), Sadlier (Sheppard 66); Cummins (Horgan 90).
BOHEMIANS - Supple; Pender (Morris 26), Cornwall, Casey, Leahy; Buckley, Brennan; Lunney, Watts (Corcoran 64), Moore; Stokes (Ward 70).
Ref - T Connolly (Dublin)