Sligo stun Cork City as reigning champions suffer first home league defeat of the season

The result severely harms Cork’s hopes of retaining the title.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Cork City 1

Sligo Rovers 2

Denis Hurley reports from Turner’s Cross

SUB RAFFAELE CRETARO was the Sligo Rovers match-winner, as they inflicted Cork City’s first home league defeat of the season, severely denting the Rebel Army’s hopes of retaining the title.

Having fallen behind to Karl Sheppard’s early goal, Sligo responded in the second half and were level when David Cawley netted on 71 minutes before Cretaro finished the turnaround with a goal seven minutes from time.

It was City’s first league loss at Turner’s Cross since the 1-0 reversal against Sligo on August 18 last year and it leaves them six points behind Dundalk with six games left.

After a draw with St Patrick’s Athletic in their previous league outing, City started brightly in front of 3,626 and were rewarded in the eighth minute as Sheppard glanced home Barry McNamee’s free kick.

McNamee had the best chance to double the lead in the first half from a Sheppard cross but Regan Donelon blocked his effort and he put the follow-up wide.

Sheppard had to keep a Patrick McClean header off the line early in the second half but City did nearly make it 2-0 when substitute Kieran Sadlier hit a free-kick low off the post with his first touch.

However, Sligo were playing better and they were level when a long-range free kick from their outstanding player, Rhys McCabe, was parried by Mark McNulty and Cawley was in quickly to net the rebound.

City pressed hard for another lead goal, but it was Sligo who got it as Caolán McAleer intercepted a clearance and played in Cretaro, who finished coolly.

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy (Jimmy Keohane 83), Damien Delaney, Aaron Barry, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack (Josh O’Hanlon 76), Gearóid Morrissey; Barry McNamee (Kieran Sadlier 61), Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard; Graham Cummins.

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SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Kyle Callan-McFadden (Raffaele Cretaro half-time), John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon; Jack Keaney, David Cawley; Adam Wixted (Kris Twardek 59), Lee Lynch, Rhys McCabe; Mikey Drennan (Caolán McAleer 80).

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).

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Denis Hurley

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