Matt Healy (L) and Darragh Markey challenge in the air. Bryan Keane/INPHO
battle for survival

O'Brien-Whitmarsh's late leveller leaves things as they were between Cork City and Drogs

Drogheda United remain two points clear of their hosts after a 1-1 draw at Turner’s Cross.

Cork City 1

Drogheda United 1

RELEGATION-THREATENED CORK City remain two points behind fellow strugglers Drogheda United in their bid to avoid a playoff for survival after Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh’s 81st-minute equaliser cancelled out Adam Foley’s second-half opener for the visitors.

Both City and Drogs lost ground to Sligo Rovers with this 1-1 draw, the westerners putting away Bohs 3-1 at The Showgrounds to move two points clear of the Co. Louth side and four ahead of the Leesiders.

The majority of the 3,851-strong crowd at Turner’s Cross were forced to endure a frustrating evening on which their side struggled to create much of note until they crucially levelled late on.

Drogheda had always looked the slightly more likely to break a longstanding deadlock and they did so on 67 minutes, Adam Foley prodding home with his left foot after an incisive pass by Ryan Brennan.

Whitmarsh-O’Brien came to City’s rescue nine minutes from time, however, controlling well inside the area and poking past Adam Wogan in the Drogheda goal.

It was a wonderful team goal by City, who finally punctured Drogheda’s press which had caused them serious issues for the majority of the game to that point.

The visitors bossed midfield throughout but they were without their lead scorer up top, Freddie Draper, who has returned to Lincoln City.

His loss felt more pronounced when Brennan, the top-scoring player left in Kevin Doherty’s squad, fired wide a last-gasp chance that would have put significant daylight between his side and Cork in the table.

Instead, the points were shared and with 14 games remaining, it’s as you were in eighth and ninth place in the table.

The sides will meet again in Drogheda on 25 August.

Cork City: Corcoran; Coleman (C), Gilchrist, Custovic; Walker (Bargary 59′), O’Donovan, Healy (Coffey 59′), Bolger, O’Brien-Whitmarsh; Keating, Owolabi (Murphy 59′).

Drogheda United: Wogan; Adegboyega, Keeley, Weir; Ahui, Deegan (C), Markey, Noone (Topcu 69′); Rooney, Brennan, Foley (McNally 77′).

Referee: D MacGraith (Dublin)

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