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Four-goal Cork City keep perfect home record intact

The defending Premier Division champions strolled past Bray Wanderers this evening at Turner’s Cross.

Garry Buckley celebrates scoring a goal Man of the match Garry Buckley celebrates after scoring Cork City's fourth goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cork City 4
Bray Wanderers 0

Paul Dollery reports from Turner’s Cross

CORK CITY MAINTAINED their 100% home record in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division this evening with a routine victory over bottom club Bray Wanderers.

In front of an attendance of 4,070, goals from Jimmy Keohane, Sean McLoughlin, Graham Cummins and Garry Buckley ensured that the defending champions made it eight wins from eight at Turner’s Cross in 2018.

Second-placed City continue to trail leaders Dundalk by two points, but the Leesiders do have a game in hand over their rivals from Louth.

Bray were unchanged from their 2-2 home draw against Waterford on Monday. The City team showed two changes from last weekend’s stalemate in Derry. Conor McCarthy returned in defence in place of Alan Bennett, while Kieran Sadlier started in a wide attacking role at the expense of Karl Sheppard.

Jimmy Keohane scores a goal Jimmy Keohane gives City the lead. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

In an opening half that lacked intensity, the home side were in front after just three minutes. Barry McNamee’s pass split the Bray defence open and Keohane poked the ball beyond Evan Moran.

The champions were in the ascendancy throughout the first half. McNamee and Kieran Sadlier both had shots on target which were comfortably saved by Moran. McNamee also saw a shot from just outside the box narrowly miss the target after Kevin Lynch coughed up possession cheaply.

Bray gradually played their way into the contest, with Gary McCabe central to most of what was positive about the Seagulls. His long-range free-kick kept City goalkeeper Mark McNulty alert, before two separate dead-ball deliveries from the ex-Shamrock Rovers man found the head of Sean Heaney, who was unable to direct either effort on target.

McLoughlin headed wide from a Sadlier corner on the half-hour mark, but the young defender doubled City’s lead just before the break. McNamee’s corner was headed back by Buckley towards Cummins, whose flick-on fell into the path of the 21-year-old centre-half, who finished emphatically with a half-volley.

Lynch surged forward and had a decent attempt to pull a goal back for Bray on the stroke of half-time. His powerful shot from 25 yards stung McNulty’s fingertips, but the City goalkeeper reacted swiftly to gather from the rebound.

Kieran Sadlier with Dylan Hayes Cork City’s Kieran Sadlier and Dylan Hayes of Bray Wanderers battle for possession. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

John Caulfield’s side were handed a glorious chance to increase their lead just three minutes after the restart. Bray goalkeeper Moran was robbed of possession by Sadlier after failing to control the ball on the edge of his box, but with an open goal at his mercy, the former Sligo Rovers winger lifted his shot over the crossbar.

City’s third goal did arrive in the 64th minute, however, and again Moran will feel he should have done better. His attempt to punch away a Sadlier cross resulted in the ball falling to Cummins in the six-yard box, leaving the striker with a simple task to score his ninth of the season.

McNulty had to make a good save to deny Cory Galvin a goal against his hometown club, before City’s fourth arrived in the 75th minute. Substitute Karl Sheppard crossed from the right after engineering an opening with some trickery, allowing Buckley to cap an impressive personal display with a goal by heading past Moran.

Bray threatened in the final minutes as City were forced to play with 10 men after Conor McCormack picked up a knock when all three substitutes had already been used. Ronan Coughlan went close with a header, but the visitors — who have scored just three times on the road this season — couldn’t conjure up a consolation goal.

Sean McLoughlin celebrates scoring a goal with Shane Griffin and Conor McCormack Cork City defender Sean McLoughlin is congratulated after scoring. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin (Aaron Barry, 76), Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Jimmy Keohane; Barry McNamee (Karl Sheppard, 65), Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier; Graham Cummins (Josh O’Hanlon, 65).

BRAY WANDERERS: Evan Moran; Dylan Hayes, Conor Kenna (Darragh Gibbons, 79), Sean Heaney, Kevin Lynch; Paul O’Conor, Dan McKenna; Daniel Kelly (Shane Flynn, 83), Gary McCabe (Ger Pender, 69), Cory Galvin; Ronan Coughlan.

Referee: Damien MacGraith

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Paul Dollery

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