Barry McNamee stars as Derry City too strong for Cork
Round-up: St Pat’s win three on the spin; Bohs held by Waterford; Harps denied first win
Derry’s Eoin Toal celebrates scoring their first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Cork City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho
Derry City 2 Cork City 0
Barry McNamee returned to haunt Cork City at the Brandywell on Friday night, the Donegal man producing a brilliant performance against a new-look Cork City side that struggled during the opening period.
The victory saw the home side finally end their long wait for a win over Cork which dated back to March 2016.
Derry also could afford to have miss a penalty, before netting a killer second goal as the game entered the 90th minute.
John Caulfield’s men are clearly in transition and while they did struggle in the vital areas, Derry failed to take full advantage.
A break by Jamie McDonagh after eight minutes saw Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe throw himself into an acrobatic bicycle kick but he failed to make contact with the ball inside the six-yard box and Cork cleared the danger.
Ten minutes later a McNamee free sailed high over the crossbar as the home side pushed to break the deadlock.
It was finally broken in the 21st minute after Conor McCormack brought former team-mate McNamee crashing down to earth.
From 25 yards, McDonagh floated the free into the danger area and with the Cork rearguard failing to react Derry centre back Eoin Toal stretched out a long leg to force the ball home from close range.
In a rare attack, Cork right winger Daire O’Connor turned inside a Derry defender but he dragged his low shot from 20 yards wide of the target.
Following the change of ends, Cork changed their formation, bringing on striker Daniel Smith at the expense of O’Connor and pushing Karl Sheppard into the frontline, with Darragh Rainsford moving to the left flank.
In fact, the visitors then stunned Derry with their first serious shot on target in the 59th minute.
Garry Buckley intercepted a McNamee pass and raced 40 yards on the break before unleashing a superb shot which was turned around the post by goalkeeper Peter Cherrie.
And Toal could and should have doubled his tally but he failed to get onto the end of McNamee’s free in the 65th minute.
Derry bounced back when a Darren Cole shot brought the best out of Mark McNulty, the Cork goalkeeper parrying the effort wide at the expense of a corner in the 75th minute.
Three minutes later former Derry favourite Conor McCormack brought McNamee down inside the area and having been booked minutes early, was sent off by referee Rob Harvey.
Derry, however, failed to take advantage when McDonagh’s spotkick was superbly saved by McNulty.
Almost immediately, Cork broke on the counterattack and James Tilley brought the best out of Cherrie with a powerful drive.
But the home side had the final say as the game entered the final minutes. Ogedi-Uzokwe missed a superb chance to put the game to bed before the lively McDonagh was set up by Ciaron Harkin and his low shot from the end of the area beat the overworked McNulty.
DERRY CITY: Cherrie; Cole, Toal, McClean, Coll; Harkin, Sloggett; McDonagh, McNamee, Junior; Parkhouse (Stokes, 90 mins).
CORK CITY: McNulty; McCarthy, Casey, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Buckley; O’Connor (Smith, h/t), Tilley, Sheppard (Crowley, 80 mins); Rainsford.
Referee: R Harvey (Dublin)
St Patrick’s Athletic 2 UCD 0
Ciarán Kelly, with his first goal for the club, and Mikey Drennan’s sixth of the season earned St Patrick’s Athletic a third win on the spin as they had too much for UCD at Richmond Park.
St Pat’s were the better side from the start and should have been ahead on 16 minutes.
Ian Bermingham met Simon Madden’s sublime cross with UCD goalkeeper Conor Kearns getting down brilliantly to palm away the low shot.
Conor Clifford skied a shot over when well-positioned before Kearns made another good save five minutes before half-time from Drennan.
UCD dominated possession from the restart with skipper Gary O’Neill having a shot bravely blocked by defender Kelly.
Having done his defensive duty, Kelly made the decisive contribution at the other on 59 minutes to give St Pat’s the lead, getting his head to Drennan’s corner with Kearns merely helping the ball into his net.
Kearns then made good saves to thwart Gary Shaw and Clifford before Drennan sealed the points on 85 minutes, scooping home the rebound after Kearns parried a shot from substitute Darragh Markey.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; Desmond, Kelly, Toner; Madden, Forrester (Markey, 81 mins), McCabe (Lennon, 58 mins), Clifford, Bermingham; Drennan, Shaw (Walker, 83 mins).
UCD: Kearns; Tobin, Collins, Scales, Dignam; Doyle, O’Neill; McClelland (McClelland, 89 mins), Molloy (O’Farrell, 80 mins), Farrugia; Davis (Mahdy, 77 mins).
Referee: John McLoughlin (Roscommon).
Bohemians 0 Waterford 0
Bohemians failed to make much ground on leaders Shamrock Rovers by failing to break down a stubborn Waterford at Dalymount Park.
The Gypsies had scored in every game this season at home but, similar to the last meeting with the Blues back in early March, they were left frustrated.
The high flyers continued the trend of rotating their team, a natural consequence of being one of only two part-time clubs in the top-flight.
Ryan Swan was one of nine changes to the team which beat Shamrock Rovers on Tuesday and he headed wide after just 10 minutes from Ryan Graydon’s left-wing cross.
Keith Ward also earned a starting berth for being a thorn in the side of Rovers as a substitute but should have worked Matt Connor with a free-kick which the Waterford goalkeeper easily dealt with.
It took until the half-hour mark for Waterford to get any joy in the final third, yet it was the closest either team came to forging a breakthrough in a drab first half.
JJ Lunney had it all to do when a half-cleared clearance fell to his feet 25 yards out but his curling shot forced James Talbot to acrobatically tip the effort over the bar.
Another former Bohemians player, Izzy Akinade, also went close back on familiar turf by brushing off the challenge of Patrick Kirk, swivelling and smashing a low shot to test Talbot.
Conscious of making home advantage count if they’re to seriously challenge Rovers and Dundalk for the title, Keith Long tried to break the turgidity of the second half by introducing two of his attacking assets.
Dinny Corcoran and Danny Mandroiu were sent into the fray on the hour with their top scorer almost instantly adding to his haul.
Corcoran’s quick instincts created space for himself to shoot while stretching but he fired inches wide of the near post.
Patrick Kirk also whistled a shot off-target in the latter stages and Ward couldn’t muster one of his trademark free-kicks after being barged off the ball on the edge of the box in the last minute.
Connor was relieved to see the effort blaze over the crossbar, as was his manager Alan Reynolds as they avoided another defeat on the road.
BOHEMIANS: J Talbot; A Lyons, J Finnerty, A Barry, P Kirk; A Reghba (D Mandroiu, 59 mins), R McCourt, C Levingston, R Graydon; K Ward, R Swan (D Corcoran, 59 mins).
WATERFORD: M Connor; R Feely, D Delaney, M Kouogun, A Simpson; I Akinade, JJ Lunney, B Héry, S Duggan, Z Elbouzedi; A Drinan.
Referee: G Kelly (Cork).
Sligo Rovers 1 Finn Harps 1
Ronan Coughlan netted a dramatic injury-time penalty to deny Finn Harps their first win of the season at the Showgrounds.
Coughlan himself had been fouled in the area by Daniel O’Reilly, who was sent-off on a second yellow card, and the Cork native rattled the net to earn his side a draw.
The opener had arrived just before the break, as striker Seán Boyd headed home from inside the area following a Harps set-piece.
It was no more than the Donegal men deserved, with Ollie Horgan’s side shading the first half.
Caolan McAleer had forced a great save from Mitchell Beeney before that, and Harps enjoyed a period of sustained pressure midway through the half,
The home side thought they had levelled in the second half though, as Lewis Banks raided down the right and picked out Romeo Parkes to slot home from an offside position,
McAleer went close again against his former team just before that, but saw his close-range effort saved again.
And Parkes really should have done better with 10 minutes left when a poor clearance from Peter Burke left Rovers with a three-on-one attack, but Burke dived at the feet of the striker to redeem himself.
But he was sent the wrong way from the spot, as Coughlan saved a precious point for the home side at the death.
SLIGO ROVERS: Beeney, Dunleavy, Leverock, Mahon, Banks, Warde (Twardek 76), Cawley, Morahan (Fordyce, 55 mins), Murray (Donelon h/t), Parkes, Coughlan.
FINN HARPS: Burke, O’Reilly, Russell (Cowan, 70 mins), Todd, Coyle, Kavanagh, Logue, McAleer, Cretaro (Boyle, 70 mins), McNamee (Borg, 83 mins), Boyd.
Referee: B Connolly.