Karl Sheppard ensures Cork City avoid defeat at home
Cork City come back from two goals down to secure a point against Dundalk
Richie Towell was on the scoresheet for Dundalk in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game against Cork City at Turner’s Cross. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Cork City: 2
O’Sullivan 29, Sheppard 37
McMillan 9, Towell 25
Cork City came from behind to avoid defeat and secure a point against Dundalk at Turner’s Cross in a rehearsal ahead of November’s FAI Cup final.
Dundalk’s impressive record against Cork City in recent seasons would have given them plenty of confidence coming into the clash and it did not take long for the visitors to stamp their authority on the game.
The breakthrough came after just nine minutes when David McMillan got on to the end of Daryl Horgan’s whipped free kick.
The former UCD and Sligo Rovers striker showed great tenacity to get in at the back post and toe the ball over the line to open the score line.
Stephen Kenny’s side then doubled their lead mid-way through the first half when Richie Towell blasted beyond Mark McNulty from 20 yards.
The midfielder, returning to the team from a bout of pleurisy, collected the ball from Ronan Finn before firing in his 23rd league goal of the season.
Despite finding themselves under relentless pressure for most of the first half, Cork City managed to carve out a few chances on the counter-attack and they pulled a goal back on the half-hour mark through Mark O’Sullivan.
Close rangeThe former Avondale United striker slid in at the front post to get on to the end of Karl Sheppard’s pin-point low cross, beating Gary Rogers from close range.
The hosts drew level shortly before half-time and it was the lively Sheppard who rose unscathed in the box to divert from a Ross Gaynor corner.
Both sides fashioned opportunities in the second half, with Towell shooting wide and Liam Miller blasting over from the edge of the area, but ultimately the defences held firm and the spoils were shared.
CORK CITY: McNulty, Dunleavy, Gaynor, O’Connor, McSweeney, Sheppard, Beattie (O’Flynn, 80 mins), Miller, O’Sullivan, Kearney (Dennehy, 55 mins).
DUNDALK: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Shields (Poynton, 65 mins), Horgan, Mountney ( Maguire, 82 mins), McMillan ( Kilduff, 70 mins), Finn, Massey, Towell. Referee: Paul Tuite