Caulfield strikes early for Cork

 

CORK CITY centre forward John Caulfield scored within 22 seconds of the kick off as Cork kept their European hopes alive with a lucky win over Sligo Rovers, at Turner's Cross yesterday.

Cork tipped off and when Caulfield headed home from a cross by Gareth Cronin, a Sligo player had yet to touch the ball.

Yet Sligo gradually played themselves into the game and with midfielder Tony Kelly assuming a pivotal role, they played the better football. They should have succeeded in forcing a draw, but instead, wasted a succession of goal scoring chances.

A disappointed Sligo manager Jimmy Mullen said afterwards: "We were fast asleep for the first 30 seconds of the game but after that we were the better team. Our goalkeeper did not have a save to make."

Cork's win brought an end to a disappointing run in the league, for they had failed to win any of their last three home matches. Cork had reason to be grateful for the sound handling of goalkeeper Phil Harrington as Sligo grew in confidence, but even he was lucky to be rescued twice by full back Declan Daly.

Harrington was beaten just before half time when Michael Love soloed through the middle of the Cork defence and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper's head. Daly got back to clear off the goal line.

Daly had to make another vital clearance after 58 minutes when Derek Coughlan turned a ball back to his goalkeeper. Harrington miskicked and, as Mark Hutchinson raced on to it, Daly just managed to beat him for possession and kicked it clear.