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Keohane strikes against his former club as City keep the pressure on Dundalk

Cork City overcame Sligo Rovers tonight at Turner’s Cross thanks to a goal from substitute Jimmy Keohane.

Graham Cummins with Kyle Callan-McFadden Kyle Callan-McFadden of Sligo Rovers tangles with Cork City's Graham Cummins. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Cork City 1
Sligo Rovers 0

Paul Dollery reports from Turner’s Cross

CORK CITY REMAIN just two points behind SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Dundalk after they got the better of Sligo Rovers this evening at Turner’s Cross.

For most of this game it looked as if Dundalk — who were comfortable winners in Limerick — would extend their lead at the summit of the table, but substitute Jimmy Keohane was City’s hero in the 78th minute when he scored against his former club.

Just three minutes after he was sprung from the bench to replace Gearoid Morrissey, Keohane fired home to secure all three points for the Leesiders in front of a crowd of 3,217. The result means the visitors stay in eighth place, a point clear of the relegation zone.

Despite being victorious for the first time in over a month last Saturday evening, Rovers made three changes in personnel from their 2-1 victory in Limerick. Calum Waters, Caolan McAleer and Greg Moorhouse came into the side at the expense of Eduardo Pincelli, Raff Cretaro and Adam Morgan.

City were unchanged from their 1-0 defeat of St Pat’s. Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie continued to serve suspensions as a result of the red cards they received in the recent defeat to Waterford, while manager John Caulfield watched from the PA box in the Donie Forde Stand due to the one-match ban he picked up after being dismissed in the same game.

John Caulfield watches the match from the press box Cork City manager John Caulfield watches on. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The hosts dominated the early stages of the game and were denied a second-minute opener by an excellent Mitchell Beeney save. Colm Horgan’s low cross from the right found Graham Cummins, but his shot was kept out by the on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper.

As the likes of Rhys McCabe, David Cawley and Caolan McAleer began to see more of the ball, Rovers gradually played their way into the game but struggled to carve open the Leesiders, who hadn’t conceded a goal at Turner’s Cross in their last eight games in all competitions. Nevertheless, it was mostly one-way traffic in favour of City in the opening period.

Patrick McClean made three important interventions in defence for Rovers. In the 18th minute he blocked a Barry McNamee shot after the City midfielder played a neat one-two with Cummins. McClean was on hand again seven minutes later to get in the way of Karl Sheppard’s goalbound effort, before the younger brother of Ireland international James deflected a Sean McLoughlin strike away for a corner shortly before the break.

Moments earlier, Beeney was called into action again when he was almost deceived by Sheppard’s cross but managed to tip it over the crossbar. From the corner that followed, Moorhouse and Kyle Callan-McFadden got their bodies in the way of respective attempts from Cummins and Kieran Sadlier. It remained goalless at half-time after Conor McCarthy was unable to get his header on target from McNamee’s corner.

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Sligo made a bright start to the second half. Just over two minutes after the resumption, City goalkeeper Mark McNulty had to be alert when Moorhouse got his head on Regan Donelon’s set-piece delivery from the right. At the other end, Sadlier attempted to break the deadlock against his former club but his 25-yard free-kick was always rising.

Kieran Sadlier with Calum Waters Calum Waters of Sligo Rovers keeping tabs on Cork City's Kieran Sadlier. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

In the 63rd minute, Sadlier appeared to have created the opening for City to go in front. His low cross found McNamee at the far post, but he somehow stabbed his close-range effort wide.

After McCabe missed the target for Sligo with a free-kick in a promising position, City switched to a 4-4-2 for the final 21 minutes when Josh O’Hanlon was introduced for Sheppard. They went close through Cummins moments later but he could only direct Shane Griffin’s cross wide. Cummins then played Sadlier through after a mistake by McClean, but the former Sligo winger took too long to pull the trigger, allowing Cawley to intervene.

But the winning goal finally arrived with 12 minutes of normal time remaining. O’Hanlon made a positive impact when he released Horgan down the right. After the Sligo defence failed to clear the former Galway United full-back’s cross, Keohane drilled the ball beyond Beeney on the volley.

City almost doubled their lead shortly afterwards but neither Cummins nor McCarthy could convert after more good work by O’Hanlon. Sligo’s best chance of an equaliser fell to substitute Adam Morgan when McLoughlin couldn’t clear the danger in the City box, but the former Liverpool striker’s effort posed no problems for McNulty.

Jimmy Keohane celebrates scoring a goal with Barry McNamee Jimmy Keohane celebrates his goal with Barry McNamee. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Gearoid Morrissey (Jimmy Keohane, 75); Karl Sheppard (Josh O’Hanlon, 69), Barry McNamee, Kieran Sadlier (Aaron Barry, 85); Graham Cummins.

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Calum Waters, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon; Gary Boylan, (Raff Cretaro, 83), David Cawley, Jack Keaney (Adam Morgan, 81); Rhys McCabe, Caolan McAleer (Alastair Roy, 81); Greg Moorhouse.

Referee: Derek Tomney

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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