Cork City beat Shamrock Rovers to go 16 games unbeaten
League leaders come from behind at Turners Cross after early Trevor Clarke screamer
Ryan Delaney scored twice as Cork City came from behind to beat Shamrock Rovers 4-1. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Cork City stretched their unbeaten run at the beginning of the SSE Airtricity League season to 16 games as they came from behind to defeat Shamrock Rovers at Turners Cross on Friday evening.
Goals from Gearoid Morrissey, Johnny Dunleavy and a Ryan Delaney brace allowed the Leesiders to overturn Trevor Clarke’s incredible opener and maintain their 15 point lead over Dundalk.
City had the first meaningful attempt on goal when Kevin O’Connor’s in-swinging corner was headed over at the near post by Ryan Delaney.
But with 16 minutes played, Rovers stunned the home crowd when they took the lead through to a sensational strike from Trevor Clarke.
Clarke latched onto Graham Burke’s lay off and set off on a surging run into the City penalty area before rifling a thunderous effort off the underside of the bar and into the net.
The League leaders ought to have levelled matters midway through the half when Roberto Lopes’ slip allowed Sean Maguire to gather Jimmy Keohane’s long punt but the forward sliced his attempt past the near post when through on goal.
City eventually levelled on the brink of half time when Greg Bolger’s free from the left wing picked out Delaney and he powered his close range header home off the bar.
The visitor’s hopes suffered a blow in the opening stages of the second half when midfielder David McAllister was sent off for a late challenge on Maguire.
They ought to have restored their advantage after 65 minutes but the lively Trevor Clarke couldn’t add his second as he drilled past wide when bearing down on goal.
The Leesiders would punish Rovers for missing that glorious opportunity as Morrissey almost immediately fired into the top left corner from 25 yards.
Delaney and Dunleavy sealed the victory late on with a thumping header a piece.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Jimmy Keohane, John Dunleavy, Ryan Delaney, Kevin O’Connor (Shane Griffin 70); Conor McCormack, Gearoid Morrissey; Karl Sheppard (John Kavanagh 90), Greg Bolger (Achille Campion 61), Stephen Dooley; Seán Maguire.
Shamrock Rovers: Kevin Horgan; Simon Madden, Roberto Lopes, David Webster, Luke Byrne; Ronan Finn, David McAllister; Trevor Clarke (Darren Meenan 86), Graham Burke (Ryan Connlly 50), Brandon Miele; Gary Shaw (Michael O’Connor 83).
Referee: James McKell (Tipperary).