Cork stay hot on the heels of Dundalk

Comfortable win keeps Cork level pegging on points but advantage stays with Dundalk

UCD 0 Cork City 4

Cork City kept themselves in the title race with this victory over ten-man UCD at Belfield Bowl. A Garry Buckley brace along with Ross Gaynor's opener and a Billy Dennehy penalty secured the points for City against a poor UCD side who had Samir Belhout sent off for two bookable offences, within the space of two minutes, early in the second half.

But the advantage at the top of the table stays with Dundalk and Cork City will be hoping that the Louth side drop points against Shamrock Rovers on Monday night or against Bray Wanderers next Friday night before they travel to Oriel Park to face Dundalk on the final night of the season.

City imposed themselves on the game from the first whistle of this entertaining game, with the resulting pressure giving the home side little opportunity to even get out of their own half in the first few minutes.


Dennehy looked dangerous from the off for the visitors and went very close with a fierce shot on 12 minutes. City then took the lead just a minute after that when Gaynor’s right footed strike from deep on the left coasted high over UCD goalkeeper Conor O’Donnell and into the top left corner of the net.

City went further ahead from the penalty spot on 27 minutes. Referee Padraigh Sutton had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after Hugh Douglas upended Johnny Dunleavy in the area and Dennehy converted, low and to O'Donnell's left.

City continued the good work and John O’Flynn was denied by O’Donnell on 33 minutes with the UCD defence clearing the follow up by O’Sullivan.

UCD failed to show any real intent or purpose in their play and when they did have a chance to shine it was wasted. Robbie Benson’s shot from distance failed to trouble Mark McNulty in the Cork goal as it sailed high and out of the ground just before half time.

UCD boss Aaron Callaghan had seen enough and made a change for the second half. He pushed lone front man Belhout out to the wing, brought on Conor Cannon for Ayman Ben Mohamed and sent Cannon up front. But Belhout picked up two yellow cards within the space of two minutes and UCD were down to ten men on 54 minutes.

There was no way back for UCD after that and City got their third goal on 64 minutes. A cross from O’Sullivan into the box wasn’t cleared properly by the UCD defence and the ball spilled to Buckley who finished smartly into the bottom left.

UCD were still playing second fiddle to City but did improve ever so slightly as the second have progressed. They threatened on 65 when Benson found the target only to be denied by McNulty before Cannon blasted wide on the follow up with the goal at his mercy. But sloppy UCD defending allowed Buckley slot in his second on 87 minutes.

UCD: O'Donnell; Douglas, Ryan, Kavanagh, Matthews; Mulhall (Molloy 75 mins), Benson, Creevy, Burke (Crowe 62 mins), Ben Mohammed (Cannon h/t); Belhout.

Cork City: McNulty; Kavanagh (O'Shea 75 mins), Murray, D Dennehy, Gaynor; Healy; O'Flynn, Dunleavy, Buckley, B Dennehy (Kearney 70 mins); O'Sullivan (O'Leary 79 mins).

Referee: P Sutton (Clare).

Attendance: 425.