Five-star Cork get back to winning ways against Drogheda
Dundalk put three past Limerick; Aaron McEneff’s goals help Derry put away Shamrock Rovers
Cork City’s Karl Sheppard celebrates scoring their third goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Cork City 5 Drogheda United 0
Cork City returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as Drogheda United were easily seen off at Turner’s Cross.
Leading 4-0 after 24 minutes thanks to three goals in four minutes, the Rebel Army could and should have won by more, but there was never any likelihood of John Caulfield’s side experiencing a second successive game without a win, following last week’s draw away to Galway United.
Even without Gearoid Morrissey and Steven Beattie (injured) and Conor McCormack (suspended), City were not weakened, as Alan Bennett, Greg Bolger and Jimmy Keohane came into the team and it was the latter who opened the scoring in the 11th minute from Stephen Dooley’s pass.
Garry Buckley had two chances to make it 2-0, but they only had to wait until the 20th minute for the lead to be doubled, Maguire doing excellently to flick home John Dunleavy’s cross. Dunleavy also provided the assist for the third, allowing Karl Sheppard to drive into the area and fire home from a tight angle, and the winger also made it 4-0.
After Dunleavy and Maguire worked the ball to him on the right of the area, he spotted Stephen McGuinness off his line and deftly chipped him.
Maguire and Keohane had chances before half-time and Maguire twice went close in the nascent stages of the second half, McGuinness denying him before a header just wide form close range.
Just before the hour, the fifth goal did come. Maguire and Dooley exchanged passes in the area and the striker then sent a low shot past the goalkeeper.
Keohane from range was denied by McGuinness and Maguire and sub David Griffin shot wide. At the other end, sub Seán Thornton curled wide what was Drogheda’s only chance and even with Garry Buckley going off after City used their three subs, they still easily saw out time.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Dunleavy, Bennett (Griffin, 54 mins), Delaney, O’Connor; Bolger, Keohane; Sheppard (Ellis 62 mins), Buckley, Dooley (Campion, 66 mins); Maguire.
DROGHEDA UNITED: McGuinness; Elworthy (Dunne, half-time), Gallagher, McGuigan, Kane; K Brennan, Purdy (Thornton, 42 mins); Wixted, Hyland (S Brennan, 74 mins), G Brennan; Griffin.
Referee: S Grant (Wexford).
Limerick FC 0 Dundalk 3
Newly appointed Limerick manager Neil McDonald saw at first hand the task that faces him as his side tumbled to defeat at the Markets Field.
But he will also realise that Limerick had to play for 72 minutes with 10 players after goalkeeper Brendan Clarke was sent off for handling the ball outside the area which also allowed David McMillan to open the scoring from the penalty spot after 18 minutes and he added another nine minutes later.
Freddy Hall replaced Clarke with Lee J Lynch making way and Hall made a string of superb second-half saves.
Near the end substitute Seán Gannon had a third for Dundalk who were clearly the better side.
LIMERICK FC: B Clarke, Williams, O’Conor, Lynch (Hall, 18 mins), Duggan, D Clarke, Robson, Mulhall (Tosi, 69 mins), Ogbene, Hery, Cotter (Turner, 78 mins).
DUNDALK: Rogers, Vemmelund (Glennon, 68 mins), Hoare, Bennett, Massey, Shiels, Benson (O’Donnell, 60 mins), Duffy, McElaney, McGrath, McMillan (Kilduff, 85 mins).
Referee: P Tuite (Dublin).
Derry City 3 Shamrock Rovers 1
Goals from Aaron McEneff at the start and at the end of this game put Shamrock Rovers to the sword at Maginn Park, the Derry midfielder giving a five-star performance.
Rovers will, no doubt, point to a controversial incident in the 76th minute when denied an equaliser after Ronan Finn appeared to head the ball home from close range and while referee, Ben Connolly, had pointed to the centre circle, one of his assistants had raised a flag for a foul.
Derry actually got off to a flying start when breaking the deadlock after just four minutes
Nathan Boyle played a deep cross into the danger area and with the Rovers defence failing to clear, Lukas Schubert played the ball back into the path of McEneff who lashed the ball home from 20 yards, a superb finish.
And within 60 seconds the home side were back on the attack, Boyle’s low effort smothered by Rovers goal keeper Tomer Chencinski.
Rovers got back into the game in the 21st minute. Following a free-kick, Brandon Miele scooped the ball into the penalty area, Gary Shaw headed it down and the advancing Graham Burke drove it high into the net as the Derry defence appeared to freeze.
However, Derry had the final say of the first half when moving back into the driving seat in the 44th minute with a timely strike.
Having worked the ball forward on the left wing. Schubert carried it into the box before flashing the ball low across the six-yard box and the alert Barry McNamee displayed great determination to slide in an guide the ball home.
That strike certainly boosted confidence levels in the home dressingroom as Derry threatened again during the opening minute of the second half.
A corner from McEneff found the head of Dean Jarvis and his effort was palmed clear by Chencinski before the goalkeeper smothered the ball on the ground.
Rovers’ Canadian stopper pulled off a spectacular save in the 54th minute to deny Ronan Curtis as Derry attempted to end the game as a contest.
With the attendance on their toes, the win was confirmed in the 94th minute when Curtis was brought down to earth inside the area by substitute Seán Heaney and McEneff drove the ball low into the corner.
DERRY CITY: Doherty; McDermott, Barry, Jarvis (Doherty, 81 mins); Schubert (Daniels, 81 mins), Monaghan, Low, McEneff, Curtis (Timlin, 94 mins); McNamee; Boyle.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chencinski; Madden, Lopes (Heaney, 68 mins), Webster, Byrne; McAllister, Finn; Clarke (Meenan, 62 mins), Burke (O’Connor, 81 mins), Miele; Shaw.
Referee: B Connolly (Dublin).