LOI round-up: Cork battle hard to get the better of Waterford
Meanwhile there were wins for St Patrick’s Athletic and Sigo Rovers
Waterford’s Dean O’Halloran is tackled by Steven Beattie of Cork City. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Cork City 2 Waterford 0
It may have taken a while, but champions Cork City eventually found their way past Waterford at Turner’s Cross on Friday.
Second-half goals from Gearóíd Morrissey and Garry Buckley finally broke the stubborn blue dam as the Rebel Army made it two wins from two in the league. Having been largely frustrated in the first half, the home side began to assert themselves on the resumption and they gave notice of their intentions as Shane Griffin’s cross from the left forced goalkeeper Niall Corbett into a vital touch away.
It was Griffin who provided the delivery from the opening goal on 55, his low cross not dealt with, first falling to Barry McNamee, whose shot was blocked before Morrissey was able to pass a shot to the net.
On 63 minutes, the second goal came, again from a ball from the left as Kieran Sadlier’s deft cross was turned in by Garry Buckley – City’s sixth different scorer in three games, including the President’s Cup win over Dundalk.
While City had allowed a two-goal lead to slip in their opening game against St Patrick’s Athletic, that was with 10 men and an away fightback never looked like materialising here.
In the first half, though, Waterford posed a stiff challenge for John Caulfield’s side, denying them space and creating more than few opportunities of their own.
Early on, City defender Alan Bennett had to do well to cut out a Gavan Holohan ball for Dean O’Halloran and it was Bennett also who got a vital block on Ismahil Akinade’s header from Rory Feely’s cross.
Too often, City found themselves denied space when they looked for openings, and for the most part they were restricted to half-chances. Karl Sheppard had a flick over the bar from a Sadlier ball while McNamee and Conor McCormack had efforts from distance.
In the build-up to the game, City manager John Caulfield had acknowledged the need for patience in breaking down visiting sides this season and ultimately that patience paid off.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Beattie, Bennett, Barry, Griffin; Morrissey, McCormack; McNamee (Horgan 90), Buckley (Keohane 85), Sadlier (Howard 89); Sheppard.
WATERFORD: Corbett; Feely, Browne, Webster, Comerford; Héry, Keegan, Holohan, Aborah (Daly 69); O’Halloran (Barnett 69), Akinade.
Referee: B Connolly (Dublin).
Bray Wanderers 1 St Patrick’s Athletic 2
Early goals from stalwarts Conan Byrne and Christy Fagan got St Patrick’s Athletic’s season up and running with a deserved victory as they had just a little too much for Bray Wanderers at a bitterly cold Carlisle Grounds.
Amid reports that wages hadn’t been lodged in some players’ bank accounts when due yesterday, Bray’s night on the pitch got off to the worst possible start as they fell a goal down inside two minutes.
A free kick some 40 yards from goal didn’t look to pose too much of a treat to the home’ defence.
Owen Garvan took it quickly to Byrne down the right flank. And though winger Byrne appeared to miskick his lobbed cross, the ball dipped into the net at the far post.
It got worse for Bray 11 minutes later as they fell further behind.
Dean Clarke ran half the length of the pitch down the left flank before his cross was drilled low to the net by Fagan.
Bray got a foothold in the game with a well-worked goal back on 20 minutes when Aaron Greene did well on the edge of the area to set up skipper Gary McCabe who blasted to the roof of the net.
But Dillon prevented St Pat’s from restoring their two-goal lead with good saves from Lee Desmond and then Fagan.
Though defensively suspect, Bray remained a threat at the other end of the pitch as Ronan Coughlan forced a goal-line clearance from Desmond minutes before the interval.
In a dour second half, there was precious little goalmouth action.
Byrne provided the best chance for St Pat’s on 85 minutes when cleverly making space to volley narrowly wide.
BRAY WANDERERS: Dillon; McKenna, Douglas, Heaney, Lynch; Sullivan, O’Conor (D. Kelly, 77); Coughlan, McCabe, Galvin (J. Kelly, 62); Greene.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Murphy; Madden, Toner, Desmond, Bermingham; Garvan, R. Brennan; C. Byrne, Kelly, Clarke; Fagan (Keegan, 51).
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).
Sligo Rovers 2 Derry City 1
Adam Morgan and Alastair Roy netted their first goals for the club as Sligo Rovers claimed their first win of the season in a thriller at the Showgrounds.
Former Liverpool striker Morgan prodded home from close range 15 minutes time before Roy coolly slotted home the second eight minutes later, as Derry slumped to their second defeat of the season, despite a late goal from Ronan Curtis.
Rovers drafted Chelsea loanee Mitchell Beeney straight into the starting team in goal, with Patrick McClean also handed a debut against his home-town club at left-back.
A brilliant opening half somehow stayed scoreless despite great chances at either end.
Morgan had a great chance at the start of the second half, but his weak effort was easily stopped by Doherty.
But with manager Gerard Lyttle planning to replace him with Greg Moorhouse, Morgan finally stepped up with the goods on 76 minutes as Eduardo Pinceli’s corner dropped to him at the far post.
David Cawley’s brilliant ball released Roy ten minutes later for what proved to be the clincher, while Pinceli almost made it three when he hit the post with a late free-kick.
But there was a nervous finish for the home fans, as Curtis capitalised on a Seamus Sharkey mistake to fire past Beeney in the 90th minute.
SLIGO: Beeney, Boylan, Callan-McFadden, Sharkey, McClean, Cawley, Pinceli, McCabe, McAleer (Roddan 87), Roy, Morgan (Moorhouse 84).
DERRY: G Doherty, McDermott (McDonagh 60), Aganovic, Cole, B Doherty, McEneff, Low, Curtis, Rory Hale (Toal 78), Ronan Hale, Patterson.
Referee: P McLaughlin.