Painstaking wait for Cork City’s coronation goes on
Goalless draw at a filthy Dalymount Park not enough after Dundalk sink Bray at the death
John Caulfied saw his Cork City side miss out on another chance to be crowned champions after a 0-0 draw at Bohemians. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Cork City looked a world away here from the team that swept all before them over the first two thirds of the season but the disappointment of what was a very hard earned draw comes with a significant silver lining.
One more point will now do John Caulfield’s side and the visit of Derry on Monday offers his players the chance to clinch their title in very much the way the 2005 side did. They could, to be fair, do with seizing the opportunity at this stage.
For their fans who made the journey to Dublin afraid they might miss out on a party there was disappointment both with the result, which would still would have been enough but for a late Dundalk winner at Oriel Park, and the performance - but it was easy to see why the locals enjoyed it.
Bohemians became the first side to beat City in the league this season when the two teams last met back in late July and they, on the basis of their second half dominance here, they really should have made it two from three against the champions elect - with Mark McNulty having to make the save of night three minutes into stoppage time to prevent substitute Ian Morris grabbing the extra two points for Keith Long’s side with a low drive from distance.
City could have had no complaints had that proved to be a winner, although John Caulfield might have pointed to a strong first half penalty claim for Karl Sheppard that, worst case scenario for the Dubliners, might have ended in both a spot kick and a sending off for goalkeeper Shane Supple.
That surely would have made for a different game but the home side dominated the second half with Paddy Kavanagh a constant source of worry for the City fullbacks while Dinny Corcoran and Ismahil Akinade did their bit around the box.
Between them, they managed to generate a succession of scoring chances and a decent penalty shout of their own. McNulty kept them at bay more than once, though, and on the one occasion he was well beaten, by Akinade who had rounded him, Shane Griffin got back well to block the side-footed shot short of the line.
The referee’s original call must have seemed a fairly distant memory then to most of those watching by the time the final whistle sounded although it still got a mention from Alan Bennett at the end, even if he passed over it lightly enough before acknowledging how tight a contest it had been.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with the way the game in the second half,” he said, “but it was never going to be an easy one. They beat us in the second series of games. That’s a win each and a draw so it’s been even over the season.
“We move on to Monday night.We’re a step closer. We’ll look forward to Monday night at the Cross. It will be rocking. This is a tough place to come and get a result so we’ll take that and move on.”
Bohemians: Supple; Hayes, Cornwall, Casey, Pender; Sule (Morris, 90+2), Byrne (Gannon, half-time); Akinade, Brennan, Kavanagh; Corcoran.
Cork City: McNulty; Keohane, Bennett, Delaney, Griffin; Bolger; Sadlier (McCarthy, 66 mins), Buckley, Morrissey, Dooley; Sheppard (Campion, 90 mins).
Referee: R Harvey (Dublin).