Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Evan Logan/INPHO Cork's Beineóin O'Brien-Whitmarsh celebrates after scoring a goal.
# Underdogs
Cork City advance in FAI Cup with shock win over Sligo Rovers
Dale Holland struck a dramatic late winner to send Cork through.

Sligo Rovers 2

Cork City 3

CORK CITY PULLED off the biggest shock of the FAI Cup first round, as they stunned high flyers Sligo Rovers in a thrilling encounter at The Showgrounds to claim their place in the second round, against all odds.

Rovers went ahead early on thanks to Romeo Parkes, but the visitors equalised later in the half to leave the tie poised at 1-1 at the halfway mark.

A penalty from Dylan McGlade gave City the lead, with Parkes striking again to make it 2-2 for the final moments of the game.

As the tie headed for extra-time, Dale Holland struck in the dying seconds of injury time to seal City’s place in the second round.

The Bit O’Red have reached the semi-finals of the FAI Cup for the last two consecutive years, and are hoping to go one step further this year.

The hosts would have been heavy favourites ahead of this encounter as they enjoy a great season in the Premier Division, but Cork might have been hopeful that they could pull off the only shock result of the first round of the cup competition, despite the fact that they are second bottom of the First Division.

But, it looked as if the hosts were going to have to work hard if they were to get through this tie, as City defended with intent throughout the early stages.

jordan-gibson-makes-an-attempt-on-goal Evan Logan / INPHO Sligo's Jordan Gibson makes an attempt on goal. Evan Logan / INPHO / INPHO

The defence was breached after 12 minutes, albeit through a mistake. Mark McNulty came to claim a cross, and looked comfortable until he spilled the ball into the path of Parkes, who poked it home to give his side the lead.

The hosts were well on top and looking for a second, but were failing to make the most of their chances. Parkes came close again as he ran onto the end of a long ball, but City cleared the danger.

That failure to capitalise on their opportunities did come back to haunt the hosts, and City were back level just before the half-hour mark.

Cian Murphy’s cross wasn’t cleared by the Rovers defence, with O’Brien Whitmarsh’s delightful volley catching everyone off guard, as he levelled the scoring.

A superb McNulty save just before half-time denied Rovers a second as Jordan Gibson worked his way into space before launching a powerful shot at goal.

The visitors were awarded a penalty on 53minutes as Cian Murphy was fouled in the box was Shane Blaney. Dylan McGlade slotted the penalty past Luke McNicholas to put his side ahead.

The visitors defended brilliantly and dealt with everything Rovers threw their way, until Parkes found space following a glorious cross from Bolger, with the Jamaican’s fine finish too powerful for McNulty.

It looked as though the tie was set for extra time, until substitute Dale Holland struck out of nothing in the last minute of ordinary time to shock Sligo Rovers, earning City a place in the second round of the FAI Cup.

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Elsewhere, Bohemians cruised to a 5-0 win over College Corinthians while Patrick McEleney’s strike in extra-time secured a 1-0 win for Dundalk at Treaty United.

Cobh Ramblers also needed extra-time to beat Liffey Wanderers 2-0. Killester Donnycarney beat Usher Celtic 1-0, while St Mochta’s beat Crumlin United 2-1.

Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas, Lewis Banks, Shane Blaney, Garry Buckley (Danny Kane, 76), Regan Donelon (Colm Horgan, 72), Mark Byrne (Johnny Kenny, 94), Niall Morahan (Seamas Keogh, 46), Greg Bolger, David Cawley (Walter Figueira, 94), Jordan Gibson, Romeo Parkes.

Cork City: Mark McNulty, Ronan Hurley, Dylan McGlade, Cian Coleman, Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh (Jack Walsh, 95), Steven Beattie (Dale Holland, 50), Alec Byrne, Darragh Crowley, Josh Honohan, Cian Murphy, Jonas Hakkinen.

Referee: Rob Harvey.

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