League leaders Cork City come from behind to beat Sligo
Finn Harps too good for St Pat’s Athletic, as Cork take three points from Showgrounds
Cork’s Karl Sheppard and Regan Donelon of Sligo compete for a high ball. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Achille Campion came off the bench to inspire Cork City to a comeback victory at the Showgrounds on Monday night.
The Frenchman claimed his first goal for Cork by tapping home from close range, against his former club, to cancel out Kieran Sadlier’s opener for the home side.
Then victory was sealed when Kevin O’Connor’s late corner kick flew past everyone and all the way into the net.
The victory takes Cork 16 points clear at the top of the table, and they did it despite top-scorer Seanie Maguire missing from the spot in Sligo for the second year in a row.
The league-leaders made a blistering start, and should have been ahead inside the opening three minutes.
Jimmy Keohane had a great chance in the second minute when he found himself at the end of Maguire’s cross into the area, but he could only direct his close-range effort straight at Rovers ‘keeper Micheál Schlingermann.
The ball rebounded to the feet of Karl Sheppard - a late inclusion in the starting team after the withdrawal of Garry Buckley - but he too found Schlingermann in his way as he tried to pass the ball to the net.
It was the home side however who took the lead midway through the half, when Bennett tried to cut out Sadlier’s ball into the box but caught Liam Martin. The referee pointed to the spot and Sadlier stepped up to send Mark McNulty the wrong way from the spot.
The visitors had a great chance to get back in the tie 10 minutes into the second half when Sheppard was fouled by Kyle Callan-McFadden, but Maguire’s effort flashed the wrong side of the post.
Cork boss John Caulfield responded by introducing Campion off the bench, and the forward had the simple job of tapping to an empty net just three minutes after his introduction as Johnny Dunleavy’s breakout effort was palmed into his path.
O’Connor’s fortunate corner then won it for the Rebels.
SLIGO: Schlingermann, Boylan, Callan-McFadden, Leahy, Donelon, Martin, Roddan, Kenny, Sadlier, Cretaro (Walsh 74), Ayunga (Place 64).
CORK: McNulty, Dunleavy, Bennett, Delaney, O’Connor, McCormack (Campion 61), Bolger, Keohane, Dooley (Kavanagh 90), Sheppard (Griffin 87), Maguire.
Referee: R Hennessy.
Finn Harps 3 St Patrick’s 1
Finn Harps blasted out a warning to their relegation rivals as they stunned St. Patrick’s Athletic with a first half goals blitz.
The Donegal club, having lost their last five games, went into this match determined to stop the rot, and Ollie Horgan certainly had them fired up as they battled for every ball.
Harps opened the scoring on nine minutes when Damien McNulty floated in a cross from the right, and with goalkeeper Conor O’Malley misjudging the flight of the ball as he advanced too far, Danny Morrissey rose above the defence to firmly head into the empty net for his first goal of the season.
In what was a surprisingly open affair, Harps then doubled their lead on 31 minutes as Morrissey capitalised on a mix-up in the Pat’s defence and deftly pushed the ball around the advancing O’Malley before running on to it and slipping it into the unguarded net again.
Two minutes before the break, Harps added the third as Jonny Bonner sent in a deep cross and defender Packie Mailey rose high to firmly head home much to the delight of the Finn Park faithful.
Not unexpectedly, the Saints came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half.
Josh O’Hanlon and Gavin Peers carved out openings for Liam Buckley’s side but Harps defended stubbornly.
Pat’s pulled one back on 84 minutes with a cracking strike from Christy Fagan as he met a Conan Byrne cross.
Next up for the Inchicore side is a home clash against second placed Dundalk on Friday, while Harps host Limerick.
FINN HARPS: Gallagher; McNulty, Mailey, Coll, Harkin; Funston, Boyle, Bonner (Molloy, 90 mins), McAleer; Houston, Morrissey (McGlynn, 87 mins).
ST PAT’S: O’Malley; Barker, Peers, Feely, Bermingham; C. Byrne, Desmond (A, O’Hanlon, 74 mins), Kelly (Lunney, 45 mins), K. Byrne (J. O’Hanlon 45 mins); Fagan, Markey.
Referee: J. McLaughlin (Louth)