Cork City 3-2 Drogheda United

November 7, 2018

Match Report by Ciaran D’Arcy

A resilient performance from 10-man Cork City saw them edge another pulsating encounter with Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross on Monday night.

Given the hectic schedule that Mick Cooke’s side have had to endure over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to see three new faces come into the team following Friday’s defeat against Shamrock Rovers.

However it wouldn’t be enough as Cork banished the ghosts of March’s 2-3 reverse against the same opposition on Leeside through goals from Vinny Sullivan, Kevin Murray and Davin O’Neill.

It took the home side only five minutes to rattle the back of the Drogs’ net. After Danny Murphy’s sumptuous free-kick rebounded off the post, Sullivan was at hand to slot home City’s lead goal.

A rasping effort from Sean Brennan well and truly tested the resolve of Cork’s crossbar on the half-hour mark, and the visitors found a leveller 11 minutes later through a superlative strike from Eric Foley.

Foley, reinstated to Drogheda’s midfield for the match, found himself with an abundance of space 30 yards out, and proceeded to lash a swerving effort past the outstretched arm of Mark McNulty and into the top corner.

Less than enamoured with their guests’ temerity in equalising, Cork once again came out of the blocks flying for the second half, and again found themselves a goal up after five minutes.

A long ball caused havoc in the Drogheda box, allowing defender Murray to evade the attentions of his claret and blue compatriots before rifling home from close range.

The Drogs were down, but not out, and were grateful for what was to come 14 minutes later.

Having found himself clear-through on McNulty, a touch from the onrushing Cork custodian sent Gavin Brennan sprawling. Referee Derek Tomney promptly pointed to the spot, sending the offending McNulty off for good measure, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

The task was left to Declan O’Brien to convert the resultant spot-kick, which he did with customary assuredness to leave United firmly in the driving seat on 66.

Or so it seemed. No less than two minutes later, Cork found themselves in the lead again. A speedy counter-attack saw substitute O’Neill seize possession, before burying his angled shot past Gabriel Sava for the lead.

And, despite nine minutes of injury time, that’s how it stayed. Although Drogheda can feel hard done by having scored two goals in one of Ireland’s most intimidating venues, credit must go to the doggedness and determination displayed by the home side to close out the game despite the man disadvantage.

All eyes turn to cup action this Friday, as the visit of Wexford Youths offers a welcome reprieve from Drogheda’s faltering league form. As for City, they travel to Tallaght Stadium for what is billed as the tie of the round.

Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Stephen Quigley, Alan McNally (Gannon 72), Alan Byrne, Conor McMahon; Gavin Brennan, Eric Foley, John Sullivan (62), Paul Crowley, Sean Brennan (Mulvenna 62); Declan O’Brien
Subs not used: Michael Schlingermann, Jason Marks, Peter Hynes, Cathal Brady.

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Neal Horgan, Gavin Kavanagh, Kevin Murray, Danny Murphy; Ian Turner (O’Neill 62), Gearóid Morrissey, Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan; Vinny Sullivan (White 65), Keigan Parker (Quinn 85).
Subs not used: Dan Murray, Brian Lenihan, Stephen Kenny, Garry Buckley.

Yellow cards:
Drogheda United 1 (Alan McNally)
Cork City 1 (Keigan Parker)

Red cards:
Cork City 1 (Mark McNulty)

Referee: Derek Tomney Man of the Match: Kevin Murray