Dream Debut
Hale hits injury-time winner as St Pat's heap more woe on Cork City
There was late drama at Turner’s Cross as the visitors snatched all three points.

Cork City 0

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Denis Hurley reports from Turner’s Cross

SUB RONAN HALE kept up St Patrick’s Athletic’s record of breaking Cork City’s hearts with late goals this season as he conjured up a 90th-minute winner at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.

Harry Kenny after the game Oisin Keniry / INPHO There was delight for Harry Kenny and Pat's. Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

In each of the sides’ previous two meetings in 2019, the Inchicore side had scored equalisers at the death but this was even better for Harry Kenny’s side, who are now within six points of Bohemians following the Gypsies’ loss to Finn Harps.

That result will also be of note to City, who are now just four points ahead of the Donegal side, albeit with two games in hand.

The Rebel Army — now eight league games without a win — will feel that they did enough to earn a draw, but this was a game where clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Gearóid Morrissey went close with an early long-range effort while Joel Coustrain was denied by good Kevin Toner defending, but 0-0 at half-time was a fair scoreline.

On the resumption, City debutant Eoghan Stokes — on as a first-half sub for the injured Mark O’Sullivan — showed signs of threatening but Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke wasn’t troubled.

At the other end, Conor Clifford drove into the City area and went down under a challenge but when referee Ben Connolly whistled, it was for a home free-kick and a yellow card.

Dean Clarke had a better opportunity for Pat’s, testing Mark McNulty, and while the visitors had the ball in the net from the resultant corner, the goalkeeper was being fouled.

Conor McCarthy and Karl Sheppard had good chances for City in the closing stages but Hale showed that Pat’s weren’t settling for a point as he just failed to meet a low cross on 89. A minute later, the former Ireland U21 international, who was only signed by Pat’s yesterday, had the ball in the net thanks to a low curling shot.

City did push for an equaliser but the closest they came was a Dan Casey shot when Stokes rolled a free-kick to him, the ball straight at Clarke. 

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Ronan Hurley; Conor McCormack, Gearóid Morrissey; Joel Coustrain (Dáire O’Connor 62), Kevin O’Connor (Garry Buckley 62), Karl Sheppard; Mark O’Sullivan (Eoghan Stokes 26).

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Brendan Clarke; Lee Desmond, David Webster, Ciarán Kelly (Ronan Hale 74), Kevin Toner; Jamie Lennon; Dean Clarke, Darragh Markey (Cian Coleman 90), Conor Clifford, Ian Bermingham; Gary Shaw (Glen McAuley 84).

Referee: Ben Connolly. 

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