Cork City breeze into quarter-finals after stalemate with Cliftonville
Cliftonville 2 Cork City 2Cork City breezed through to the quarter-finals with a a 6-2 aggregate win over Cliftonville last night. Ahead through Daryl Horgan’s wonderful 16th minute strike, Tommy Dunne’s men were pegged back when Liam Boyce pounced just before the interval and, though Danny Furlong restored City’s lead on the night, the Reds claimed a deserved draw thanks to Stephen Garrett’s late leveller before the visitors had Kalen Spillane sent off for violent conduct.
Cliftonville were refreshed and raring to go after nine days without playing and they almost got off to a perfect start when Stephen Garrett threatened with a vicious effort which flashed just wide.
Liam Boyce and then Garrett again failed to find the target before City registered the all-important first goal to knock the stuffing out of any home hopes when Daryl Horgan dispossessed George McMullan in the centre of the park and surged forward to thunder a magnificent 18-yard strike into the top corner.
Now boasting not only a 5-0 aggregate advantage but also a vital away goal, Cork were grateful for goal-line clearances from Kevin Murray and Darren Murphy to preserve those statistics before Cliftonville levelled on the night when Boyce bundled past that very duo to plunder a 38th minute riposte.
Tommy Dunne’s men were forced to weather a brief storm early in the second half before extending their overall lead when Danny Furlong tapped home Daryl Horgan’s 53rd minute pass and, whether it was a case of taking their foot off the pedal or the Belfast side’s superior fitness telling, City found themselves a little under the cosh.
Neal Horgan blocked from Martin Donnelly, goalkeeper Mark McNulty made a superb save to deny George McMullan and Daryl Kavanagh produced a fine last-gasp challenge to frustrate Garrett.
Garrett, however, went on to complete the night’s scoring with a cool 88th-minute finish and, though Cork were never in danger, their evening ended on a sour note with the sending-off of Spillane.
CLIFTONVILLE: Devlin, R Scannell, Johnston, McMullan, Garrett, O’Carroll, Seydak, Smyth, Gormley, Knowles, Boyce. Subs: Brown, Donaghy, Caldwell (for O’Carroll, 65 mins), Donnelly (for Johnston, 65 mins), Lynch, Cosgrove (for Boyce, 75 mins), McVeigh. CORK CITY: McNulty, Turner, Murphy, Murray, G Morrissey, Duggan, Kavanagh, Furlong, Spillane, N Horgan, D Horgan. Subs: Behan (for Kavanagh, 74 mins), Rundle (for D Horgan, 81 mins), D Morrissey (for Furlong, 62 mins), Kenny, Burns, Buckley, Abbott. Referee: Ross Dunlop (Carrickfergus).