Cork alone at top as Bray's troubles continue

 

League leaders Cork City inflicted yet another defeat on troubled Bray Wanderers in their clash at Turner's Cross, Cork, yesterday.

Pat Devlin's side, who have slumped in the title race after a promising start, had three more goals put past them as Cork regained sole leadership in the championship from St Patrick's Athletic.

Cork's latest victory, their 12th in 13 matches, was achieved against 10-man Bray, who had team skipper Bo McKeever sent off for deliberate hand ball after 37 minutes.

Bray, who lost the corresponding match at the start of the season 1-0, were already a goal down at this stage.

Kelvin Flanagan, who scored for Cork from a penalty at the Carlisle Grounds on August 30th, was on hand again yesterday when his clever back heel broke the deadlock. Mark Herrick had sent a free kick into a crowded penalty area and Flanagan's flick beat Pat O'Brien on the near post and goalkeeper John Walsh.

Cork were close to a second goal just before half-time, but Walsh pulled off a brilliant save to palm away John Caulfield's diving header.

Bray had made three changes to the team which had lost 6-2 away to Finn Harps.

A double substitution by Cork manager Dave Barry after an hour proved to be a master stroke. Within five minutes Cork had increased their lead as Caulfield hooked home his side's second with a right-footed shot after Ollie Cahill's initial strike was tipped onto the bar by Walsh. It was Caulfield's sixth goal in eight games.

Cork made it 3-0 after 77 minutes when substitute Greg O'Halloran slotted home from the edge of the box after Herrick again picked him out with a delightful through ball that split the defence.

Apart from McKeever's red card for deliberate hand ball, Cork's Ollie Cahill and Bray's John Ryan and Richie Parsons were also booked by match referee John Stacey of Athlone.

Cork have scored 30 goals in their 13 matches to date, the best scoring record in the championship so far. St Patrick's Athletic have found the net on three fewer occasions with 27 goals.

The Leesider's defence is also the meanest in the National League having conceded only six goals, one fewer then their Inchicore rivals.

There was another big attendance at Turner's Cross yesterday as the Cork public get behind their club.

Cork City: Mooney; Daly (capt), Coughlan, Hill, Barry-Murphy; Flanagan, Freyne, Herrick, Cahill; Dobbs, Caulfield. Subs: Morley, O'Halloran for Barry-Murphy, Flanagan (both 61 mins); Cotter for Freyne (80 mins).

Bray Wanderers: Walsh; Gill, Lynch, McKeever, Fox; Tresson, O'Connor, O'Brien, Connolly, Ryan; Byrne. Subs: Smyth for Fox (58 mins); Parsons for Byrne (74 mins); Dodd for O'Connor (83 mins).

Referee: J Stacey (Athlone).