Morrissey seals points to get Cork back in hunt
Cork City 2 Derry City 0
A good start provided the foundation for Cork City to return to winning ways in the Premier Division as they beat Derry City at Turner's Cross last night.
Defeats to Dundalk and St Patrick's Athletic had put a halt to the Leesiders' excellent start to the season but they now head to Limerick on Monday evening knowing a win will leave them right back in the thick of the title race.
Iarfhlaith Davoren came in for Garry Buckley in Cork's only change following the losses, necessitating a reshuffle, while Peter Hutton made five alterations to the Derry side in his first game in charge following Roddy Collins' departure.
Apart from the two goals in the space of three minutes around the quarter-hour mark, the first half was noteworthy only for its lack of incident, with the game flat even after the hosts had put themselves in a great position.
Early on, Cork were sloppy in possession but they got a break when Billy Dennehy was pushed in the area by Shane McEleney under a Brian Lenihan cross. Dennehy converted the penalty himself for his eighth goal of the season and three minutes later they had doubled the lead.
After a Colin Healy free was only half-cleared to Gearoid Morrissey 25 yards out, the midfielder sent a low shot back which beat Ger Doherty with the help of a post.
Cork were denied a third goal eight minutes before half-time when Dan Murray was adjudged to be offside when he headed home. With Derry's only real chance an Aaron Barry header wide, Cork were comfortable at the half-time break, however.
Within four minutes of the restart, O'Sullivan hit the crossbar again after Liam Kearney's flick-on from another Lenihan cross, but at the other end Derry's Ryan Curran did the same with a half-volley when he should have done better.
Aside from another Curran shot which Mark McNulty saved, Derry didn't really threaten the Cork goalkeeper, though there were more than a few moments when the home defence looked nervy under high balls.
Darren Dennehy went closest to getting a third goal for Cork, heading wide from a free kick by Healy, but even though Derry had moved to 4-4-2, they still couldn't generate sufficient traction to really trouble Cork.
Patrick McEleney had a couple of wayward efforts at goal and home left-back Davoren had to make a couple of important interceptions but the outcome was always likely to be three points for John Caulfield's men, with their mini-crisis over.
CORK CITY – McNulty; Dunleavy, Murray, D Dennehy, Davoren; Lenihan, Healy, Kearney (Buckley 80), G Morrissey, B Dennehy; O'Sullivan.
DERRY CITY – Doherty; S McEleney (McNamee 80), Byrne, McBride, Barry; R Curran (Boyle 74), Molloy, McNamee, Ventre, Duffy; P McEleney.
Ref – R Rogers (Dublin).