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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Fenn watches on as First-Division Galway send Cork City packing

The former City striker is expected to take the reins from current boss John Cotter next week.

Galway United's Conor Melody celebrates scoring what turned out to be the winning goal.
Galway United's Conor Melody celebrates scoring what turned out to be the winning goal.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Galway United 1

Cork City 0

Daragh Small reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

NEAL FENN WATCHED on as Galway United created a massive shock and dumped Cork City out of the FAI Cup in what is likely to be John Cotter’s last game in charge.

Galway United were 1-0 at half-time after Conor Melody’s strike just before the interval at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Cork played their cards early in the second half but they didn’t get a single shot on target in the whole match as Galway United cruised into the quarter-finals.

The Leesiders went close early on when Mark O’Sullivan sent his header wide and left of Kevin Horgan’s post from a Kevin O’Connor free-kick, but that was the only real chance they had in the first half.

A young Galway side found their feet in the opening quarter and began to impose themselves while Conor Barry and Melody provided the outlet up front.

Former Galway defender Colm Horgan’s last-ditch block prevented Barry from giving the home side an unlikely lead in the 16th minute but Galway continued to pile forward.

gearoid-morrissey-and-conor-melody Conor Melody of Galway battles with Cork's Gearoid Morrissey. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Cork still looked comfortable at the back but they gifted opportunities too: Barry and centre-half Stephen Walsh were both given time and space in the Cork penalty area but they couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Mark McNulty.

City winger O’Connor departed injured and was replaced with another ex-United player, Karl Sheppard, but the latter didn’t add the required impetus.

Gearoid Morrissey got off a shot in anger before the break but Cork didn’t come close to opening the scoring in the first half.

Instead, Stephen Christopher swung in a corner in the 47th minute and Melody plundered his finish into the Cork goal.

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Galway were 1-0 to the good at half-time and Cork were out first upon the resumption, desperate for some inspiration. But Barry still drew the first save from McNulty in the 50th minute.

Galway were in complete control and they looked like the Premier Division team as Barry’s pass set up Melody and his audacious attempt at a lob landed just over the crossbar.

Melody showed incredible strength to create the opening for Higgins but he couldn’t extend the Galway lead in the 72nd minute.

The hosts held their heads in the closing stages and Cork couldn’t find a way through in the five added minutes as their season continued to meander towards a disappointing finish.

stephen-walsh-and-dan-casey Galway United's Stephen Walsh and Dan Casey of Cork City. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Galway United: Kevin Horgan; Jack Lynch, Killian Brouder (Cian Murphy 85), Stephen Walsh, Marc Ludden; Donal Higgins, Joe Collins, Maurice Nugent (Christopher Horgan 82), Stephen Christopher; Conor Barry, Conor Melody (Vinny Faherty 84).

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Ronan Hurley; Joel Coustrain (Shane Griffin 45), Garry Buckley, Gearoid Morrissey, Kevin O’Connor (Karl Sheppard 31); Mark O’Sullivan, Eoghan Stokes (Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh 75).

Referee: Robert Rogers (Dublin)

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About the author:

Daragh Small

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