Late O'Sullivan equaliser earns Cork vital point
Cork City 1 0 Wexford Youths
Mark O’Sullivan’s late equaliser earned Cork City a share of the spoils at Turner’s Cross last night.
For long periods, it looked like Eric Molloy’s first-half goal would be enough to give Wexford Youths their second win of the season. They had been excellent throughout, dominating the first half and then defending well in the second period as goalkeeper Graham Doyle made save after save. However, in the 86th minute City sub O’Sullivan headed home Karl Sheppard’s cross at the back post as their pressure finally paid off.
Molloy’s 15th-minute goal was no lone effort for the visitors though, as Paul Murphy, Aidan Friel and Danny Furlong had had efforts before that as the home team laboured. When a corner was overhit, Craig McCabe kept play alive and his cross broke to Molloy – making his 100th appearance for the Youths – his shot deflected past Mark McNulty.
In front of 2,793, the concession did knock City out of their torpor, but they still took their time to make any substantial offerings. Wexford goalkeeper Graham Doyle was exceptionally quick off his line to make a perfect tackle on Sheppard outside the box when he found space. Just before half-time, the netminder would have to do even better as he kept out Sean Maguire's low shot and then Sheppard's follow-up effort. It would provide a taste of what was to come after the interval.
Garry Buckley was wide with a free header soon after the restart while both Maguire and sub Ian Turner saw aerial chances well kept out by Doyle. The best chance came on 71, when Maguire’s shot from Steven Beattie’s cross came back off the bar but Lee Grace’s pressue meant that Karl Sheppard somehow shot over from a yard out.
City continued to press for an equaliser after that, with Greg Bolger shooting into the side-netting, Turner going close and Maguire going even closer. It looked like it might never come but finally it did.
Thereafter, they pushed for another as they sought to build on the momentum. Buckley might have had a winner but he shot just wide from 20 yards. Maguire had an even better chance but man of the match Doyle was out quickly to smother his shot.
Wexford held on for the point and were applauded from the field by the home fans remaining in the Curragh Road End. It may prove to be a valuable point for them, while the result drops Cork to fifth place in the table.
CORK CITY - McNulty; Dunleavy, O’Connell, Browne, O’Connor (Beattie 45); G Morrissey (O’Sullivan 70), Bolger; Sheppard, Buckley, Dooley (Turner 61); Maguire.
Referee: T Connolly (Dublin).
WEXFORD YOUTHS – Doyle; McCabe, G Delaney, Last, R Delaney (Mulligan 83); Molloy (Ledwith 90), Kenny, Grace, Friel; Murphy (O'Keeffe 90), Furlong.
Ref – T Connolly (Dublin).