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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Cork keep early pace with four-star win over 10-man Drogheda

Stephen Elliott got off the mark for the hosts though.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Drogheda United 1
Cork City 4

CORK CITY JOINED Dundalk at the summit of the Premier Division tonight as the perennial title rivals both made it three wins from three at the start of the campaign.

First half goals from Sean Maguire and Gearoid Morrissey were added to by Karl Sheppard and Connor Ellis as Cork saw off Drogheda 4-1 at United Park.

Stephen Elliott’s first ever League of Ireland goal was mere consolation for United who saw Richie Purdy controversially sent off early on.

If home fans were hopeful of following up last week’s win over St Pats with another shock victory, the chances of that were soon lengthened. It took the league’s in-form striker Seani Maguire just seven minutes to score his third goal in three outings.

Kevin O’Connor’s corner was headed back into the six yard box by Morrissey and Maguire beat Colm direct his header past Stephen McGuinness. For the first 15 minutes of the game, it was all City.

Drogheda’s first foray forward brought their first real chance and soon after came their equaliser. Elliott was denied by a fine save from Mark McNulty before the goalkeeper scrambled to concede a corner as the former Ireland cap closed in on the loose ball. From that delivery, Ciaran McGuigan drilled the ball back into the area and Elliott expertly flicked the ball past McNulty.

No sooner were they level, Purdy was off. Replays showed the United midfielder was harshly punished. His challenge on Steven Beattie warranted no more than yellow.

Despite holding out for 20 minutes or so, the Louth men couldn’t prevent Cork from regaining the lead before the break. Morrissey nipped in ahead of Jake Hyland to sidefoot in O’Connor’s corner at the near post.

Five minutes after the break, Sheppard hit a sweet volley from McGuinness’ punch clear, leaving the stopper stranded.

A man down, Drogheda didn’t offer much in the way of a fightback and while clear cut chances were at a premium as the game drew to a close, Cork always looked the likelier.

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In the last minute of injury time, Connor Ellis hammered the ball in from inside the area.

DROGHEDA UNITED:  Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher (Lloyd Buckley, 62), Ciaran McGuigan, Stephen Dunne; Richie Purdy, Sean

Thornton, Jake Hyland; Thomas Byrne (Shane Elworthy, 55) Gavin Brennan, Stephen Elliott (Gareth McCaffrey, 71).

Subs Not Used: Dylan Sweeney, Conor Kane, Ryan McEvoy, Marc Griffin.

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Conor McCormack, Alan Bennett, Ryan Delaney, Kevin O’Connor (Shane Griffin, 81), Gearoid Morrissey (Connor Ellis, 75), Greg Bolger, Steven Beattie, Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard, Sean Maguire (Achille Campion, 56).

Subs Not Used: Alan Smith, Jimmy Keohane, Christian Nanetti, Rimvydas Sadauskas.

REFEREE: Derek Tomney (Dublin)

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