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10-man Cork City rally from behind to defeat Derry

Gearoid Morrissey hit the decisive goal for Cork.

Image: Presseye/INPHO

Derry City 1
Cork City 2

Simon Collins reporting at Maginn Park.

GEAROID MORRISSEY’S STUNNING strike proved decisive as 10-man Cork City came from behind to maintain their unassailable 18 point lead at the top of the table.

The champions elect withstood arguably their toughest test of the season against a battling Derry City side to keep intact their unbeaten start to the campaign which incredibly stretches to 19 games.

But they were made to do it the hard way at Maginn Park against a Derry side who made a blistering start courtesy of Barry McNamee’s seventh goal of the season after 14 minutes.

However, two goals inside six first half minutes from Karl Sheppard and Gearoid Morrissey saw the Rebels bounce back.

And despite playing the final 23 minutes of the game with 10 men after Jimmy Keohane was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence,Cork held on to record yet another impressive win.

They can now go into Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League first round qualifier in Estonia against Levadia Tallinn in confident mood.

Derry City meanwhile, turn their attentions to a daunting trip to Danish outfit, Midtjylland off the back of two straight defeats but they can take much encouragement from this battling display.

Ronan Curtis came so close to giving the home side the lead after 12 minutes but his strike was deflected onto the post by Mark McNulty.

However, McNamee did find the back of the net five minutes later when Rory Patterson – making his first appearance since March 31st – cushioned a neat header into the path of McNamee who raced towards goal before stepping inside Kevin O’Connor and blasting the ball into the net past McNulty.

That lead lasted just 13 minutes as Derry gifted Cork a way back into the game on the half hour mark when losing possession in the middle of the park and the Rebels’ top marksman this time turned provider with a inch-perfect pass into the feet of Sheppard who poked the ball past the out-rushing Doherty,

Curtis should’ve done better when Nathan Boyle found him in acres of space at the back post but the Ireland U21 international rashly blasted over the crossbar.

And the game was turned on its head on 36 minutes as Cork punished their hosts courtesy of a stunning 35 yard strike from the outside of Morrissey’s right boot, giving Doherty no chance as it swerved into the top corner as the league leaders took the lead for the first time on the night.

Derry heads lowered and they could’ve found themselves further behind moments later when Dooley brought a long ball down neatly but his left foot strike was turned behind by Doherty at full stretch.

Dooley was through on goal once again in first half stoppage time following Maguire’s flick-on but Derry defender, Conor McDermott did brilliantly to recover and block the winger’s shot and Cork had to settle for a slender 2-1 advantage at the interval.

McDermott tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area on 50 minutes after Aaron McEneff brought him into play with a short free kick but his effort went narrowly over the crossbar.

Suddenly Derry were back in the contest when Keohane received his second booking for a rash foul on Dean Jarvis, having been cautioned five minutes earlier for bringing down Curtis.

Derry were applying the pressure and McDermott came close with a long range strike before Kevin O’Connor came so close to turning McNamee’s cross into his own net but it wasn’t to be for the Candystripes as Cork march on.

DERRY CITY – G. Doherty; H. Monaghan (L. Schubert 76), C. McDermott (M. Timlin 86), A. Barry, D. Jarvis; N. Boyle, A. McEneff, N. Low,R. Curtis; B. McNamee; R. Patterson; Subs not used: Eric Grimes, Rory Holden, Ben Doherty, Scot Whiteside, Joshua Daniels.

CORK CITY – M. McNulty; Jimmy Keohane, R. Delaney, C. McCormack, K. O’Connor; S. Dooley, G. Bolger (S. Griffin 71), G. Morrissey, K. Sheppard; G. Buckley, S. Maguire;
Subs not used: Alan Smith, John Kavanagh, Connor Ellis,Sean O’Mahoney, Alec Byrne, Aaron Drinan.

REFEREE: PAUL MCLAUGHLIN

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Simon Collins

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