Cork City come from behind to take the points against Derry City
Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division: Derry City 1 Cork City 2
DERRY CITY huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow Cork City’s house down.
The runaway leaders secured their 18th league success of the season with a tremendous never say die display to secure another three points.
In what was a backs to the wall display after the break for Cork, they weren’t helped when they were reduced to 10 men as Jimmy Keohane was sent-off after fouling Ronan Curtis twice in both halves and referee Paul McLaughlin rightfully cautioned him on both occasions.
The home side threw everything but the kitchen sink at Cork but McCormack and Delaney were rock solid throughout and blocked everything.
Striker Rory Patterson returned to the City starting line-up for the first time in a number of months in the only change to the side which lost at Bray Wanderers last week; youngster Joshua Daniels dropped to bench.
As for the Leesiders, they were forced into two changes with Greg Bolger and Ryan Delaney replacing injured duo Alan Bennett and John Dunleavy.
Derry started on the front foot and they were denied the lead on 12 minutes as Ronan Curtis’s low drive, which had Cork ’keeper Mark McNulty beaten, smashed against the post.
The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes in super fashion as Barry McNamee latched onto Patterson’s clever flick-on and, after teasing former City team-mate Conor McCormack, he got the ball onto his favoured left foot and saw his stinging drive fly past Cork ’keeper Mark McNulty.
Unfortunately for McNamee, his misplaced pass on 30 minutes only found Sean Maguire, whose super defence splitting pass found Karl Sheppard, who ghosted in behind Dean Jarvis to turn the ball home.
Despite conceding it was Kenny Shiels’s side who should have regained the lead moments later but Curtis fired over when well placed inside the box,
That miss came back to haunt the home side as Cork took the lead on 36 minutes in super fashion as Gearoid Morrissey’s stunning 25-yard strike whistled past Gerard Doherty.
Twice in the closing stages before the break former Derry winger Stephen Dooley went close but he was denied by Doherty and Conor McDermott.
After starting the second half on the front foot, Derry were unable to get in behind the Cork back-line, but after Keohane’s sending off McNulty was called into action on two occasions in the closing stages.
With his first touch when coming off the bench Mark Timlin saw his tame right foot strike fall perfectly into McNulty’s hands then in the stoppage time the Cork net-minder did well to parry away Patterson’s snap-shot.
As referee McLaughlin blew the final whistle the entire Cork bench including manager John Caulfield jumped in celebrations as they knew how big a win they had secured.
Derry City: Doherty, Monaghan (Schubert 76), McDermott (Timlin 85), Barry, Jarvis; McEneff, Low; Boyle, McNamee, Curtis; Patterson.
Cork City: McNulty, Keohane, McCormack, Delaney, O’Connor; Buckley, Bolger (Griffin 71), Morrissey; Dooley, Maguire, Sheppard.
Referee: P McLaughlin (Donegal).
Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division: Dundalk 4 Finn Harps 0
FINN Harps continue to look over their shoulder in the Airtricity League Premier Division following a 4-0 loss to reigning league champions Dundalk at Oriel Park.
The Donegal side came under immense pressure in the first half but were able to hold the Lilywhites scoreless.
However, once Robbie Benson broke the deadlock for Dundalk six minutes into the second half, the floodgates opened with David McMillan, Patrick McEleney and Jamie McGrath adding further goals.
Meanwhile, Harps have been plunged into a battle to find funds in order to pay their players’ wages over the next few weeks.
The club was banking on a cash boost from the big north-west derby at Finn Park against Derry City on June 30.
But with Derry going to Denmark to play FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday, June 29, the game has been postponed.
Harps officials were expecting a gate in the region of €20,000 plus from the game.
The Ballybofey club was hoping that Derry would agree to play on Sunday, July 2 but their plea fell on deaf ears.
One club official pointed out that the other Airtricity League clubs involved in European games – Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City – have seen their scheduled fixtures altered by only a day or two.
But the FAI has stated that the new date for the Harps-Derry game “will be set in due course”.
Harps’ board of directors will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday morning over the situation.
The Harps official said: “We are raging. This has put us in a very difficult position.”
Harps are now in a situation where they have only one home game in a seven-week period .
However, Derry are not under any obligation to play on a date sought by Harps. Under clause 19.7 of the league’s Participation Agreement, games involving teams playing in Europe can be postponed in this manner.
Even when the game is re-fixed, Harps could still lose out financially if it is a midweek date, as non-weekend games tend to get considerably smaller attendances.
Bohemians 2 Sligo 0; Derry City 1 Cork City 2; Dundalk 4 Finn Harps 0; Galway Utd 1 Bray 2; Shamrock Rovers 4 Drogheda Utd 1