Shamrock Rovers 1
Cork City 2
Harry Manning reports from Tallaght Stadium.
CORK CITY MAINTAINED their perfect start to their SSE Airtricity Premier Division campaign, after they edged Shamrock Rovers 2-1 thanks to a Sean Maguire brace at Tallaght Stadium.
Maguire opened the scoring early on, when he pounced on a goalkeeping mishap from Tomer Chencinski before Graham Burke equalised late in the first-half from the penalty-spot.
With two minutes left on the clock, the visitors were awarded a penalty after Daniel Devine hauled Maguire to the floor allowing the in-form striker to step up and blast the ball home for his sixth league goal this season
The Leesiders raced into the lead, breaking the deadlock after just seven minutes when Daniel Devine headed a seemingly harmless ball back to Chencinski. However, the Canadian stopper let it slip from his grasp which allowed Maguire to nick it before running it into the empty net.
Rovers began to find their feet as the half progressed and deservedly equalised six minutes before the break via the penalty spot after Conor McCormack was penalised for batting away a Darren Meenan cross with his hand.
Burke, on his return from a three-game suspension, safely dispatched it low into the right corner.
Hoops skipper Ronan Finn then came within a whisker of giving his side the half-time advantage when his glancing header fell just wide of Mark McNulty’s post.
Stephen Bradley’s side continued to control the tie for large parts of the second-half, however, found it difficult to unlock a stubborn City defence and it wasn’t until the 82nd minute when the first real chance of the half arrived.
The Hoops were awarded a free-kick high up the left channel which Meenan deftly passed along the ground, finding Burke who met with it with a powerful curling drive that left the Cork crossbar rattled.
In the dying minutes a rare Cork counter-attack saw Maguire chase a long-ball into the box before being brought to the ground by Devine.
Maguire then stepped-up and powered it into the net to win the full three points for The Rebel Army in dramatic circumstances.
The victory makes it five wins from five for John Caulfield’s men as they extend their advantage at the top of the table, at least temporarily, to six points, while Rovers remain on six points in fifth place having now picked up their third defeat so far this season.
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski, Simon Madden, Daniel Devine, David Webster, Trevor Clarke; David McAllister, Ronan Finn (c), Ryan Connolly (James Doona, 80), Darren Meenan (Michael O’Connor, 90), Graham Burke; Gary Shaw (Sean Boyd, 73)
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCormack, John Dunleavy (c) (Alan Bennett, 70), Ryan Delaney, Kevin O’Connor; Garry Buckley, Gearoid Morrissey, Jimmy Keohane; Steven Beattie (Karl Sheppard, 61), Sean Maguire, Stephen Dooley (Connor Ellis, 77)
Referee: Jim McKell
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