Kieran Sadlier spot on to stem Shamrock Rovers’ flow as Cork secure tense victory
Cork City 1 Shamrock Rovers 0
KIERAN Sadlier’s penalty was the only goal as Cork City bounced back from Friday’s loss to Dundalk.
In front of 4,483 fans, City led at half-time, though prior to that Shamrock Rovers had played the better football and looked the likelier to break the deadlock.
Playing a 4-1-4-1 formation with Sam Bone impressive in front of the defence, Stephen Bradley’s side were able to push up on Gearóid Morrissey and Conor McCormack in the City midfield and they applied the early pressure.
City centre-back Aaron Barry having to get an important block on a Dan Carr shot on 17 minutes when a Ronan Finn cross caused confusion in the home penalty area.
Seán Kavanagh went close with a curling effort too after Joey O’Brien - booked early on for a foul on McCormack - and Graham Burke had linked well.
At the other end, Karl Sheppard tried to get Graham Cummins in behind the Rovers defence, but Kevin Horgan was quick off his line to clear.
The home side were improving though, and a low Barry McNamee cross from Kieran Sadlier’s pass needed a good Luke Byrne clearance.
Moments later, it was Sadlier providing the cross and Cummins rose to meet it, his header coming back off the post. As he raced to the loose ball, so did Horgan and referee Robert Harvey, who sent Cummins off in the league opener against St Patrick’s Athletic, adjudged the goalkeeper to have fouled the striker.
Sadlier stepped up to strike the ball down the middle as Horgan dived to his right. Boosted by that, City began to play with more freedom and in the 43rd minute they almost doubled the lead as Sheppard attempted to flick in McNamee’s low cross but Horgan saved.
On 58 minutes, Cummins should have doubled the lead, shooting just wide from an excellent Sadlier cross.
Rovers had a chance in the 83rd minute. From Kavanagh’s corner, left-back Luke Byrne met the ball and it hit the cross-bar and bounced down.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Aaron Barry, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Gearoid Morrissey, Conor McCormack; Kieran Sadlier (Jimmy Keohane 85), Barry McNamee (Garry Buckley 77), Karl Sheppard; Graham Cummins.
Shamrock Rovers: Kevin Horgan; Joe O’Brien (Joel Coustrain 71), Lee Grace, Ally Gilchrist (Robert Lopes 47), Luke Byrne; Sam Bone; Brandon Miele (Trevor Clarke 67), Ronan Finn, Graham Burke, Sean Kavanagh; Dan Carr.Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin).