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Cork City earn a point in Sligo thanks to Ross Gaynor's 96th-minute equaliser

Late drama for John Caulfield’s side again.

Ross Gaynor was Cork City's hero at the Showgrounds.
Ross Gaynor was Cork City's hero at the Showgrounds.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sligo Rovers 1

Cork City 1

A LAST-GASP EQUALISER from Ross Gaynor rescued a 1-1 draw for Cork City at the Showgrounds tonight.

Steven Beattie’s 84th-minute goal looked like giving Rovers all three points, before Gaynor’s goal in the sixth minute of added time gave City a share of the spoils.

It was clear from the offset that weather conditions would have an impact on the game, and both sides really struggled to get a foothold.

Bookings were the talk of the first half. The visitors picked up three in the first 24 minutes, as Liam Miller, Colin Healy and Garry Buckley all had their names taken, before Sligo’s John Russell joined them.

City were first to force an opportunity, as a Colin Healy free-kick was headed just over Richard Brush’s crossbar by Karl Sheppard. There was also a penalty claim for John Caulfield’s side when Sheppard went down in the box, but it looked like nothing more than a slip.

Last season’s runners-up would again put pressure on the Rovers defence when they went agonisingly close to taking the lead just seconds before half-time. Colin Healy came flying in from the right, fighting off Russell before sending it high for Alan Bennett, who could only watch on as his headed effort smacked the crossbar.

The second half was a similar story but conditions began to worsen. Owen Heary’s side, with the wind at their backs, looked somewhat brighter in the second period, and Steven Beattie could have given them the lead when he was equal to Sander Puri’s corner, but he was unable to get his effort on target.

Shortly afterwards, John Russell’s cross was sent across the field but Dinny Corcoran couldn’t gather himself, and it fell to Stephen Folan whose effort went well over.

Owen Heary’s side continued to up the ante and finally took a well-deserved lead in the 84th minute through Beattie. John Russell’s corner caused a goalmouth scramble in the Cork defence, before Beattie finished past City goalkeeper Mark McNulty. Beattie came close again minutes later but his effort failed to trouble McNulty on this occasion.

However, not ones to be beaten easily, Cork continued to attack and came good in the 96th minute when former Rovers man Ross Gaynor netted to make it 1-1 in a dramatic finish.

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Meanwhile, in the First Division, UCD were 3-0 winners against Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park. Garry O’Neil, Ryan Swan and Jamie Doyle were on target.

SLIGO ROVERS: Richard Brush (Ryan Coulter, 54), Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Stephen Folan, Danny Ledwith, Sander Puri (Kevin Devaney, 66), David Cawley, John Russell, Steven Beattie, Morten Nielsen (Keith Ward, 73), Dinny Corcoran.

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, John Dunleavy (Kieran Djilali, 94), Dan Murray, Alan Bennett, Darren Dennehy, Gavan Holohan (Danny Morrissey, 70), Liam Miller, Colin Healy, Mark O’Sullivan, Garry Buckley (Ross Gaynor, 88), Karl Sheppard.

Man-of-the-match: Gavin Peers.

Referee: Rob Rogers.

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Jessica Farry

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