Two second half goals from an Achile Campion tap-in and Kevin O’Connor direct from a corner pulled this game out of the fire for Cork City as they stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games against Sligo Rovers tonight, writes Noel Spillane.
A controverial Sligo Rovers spot kick mid-way through the first half converted by Kieran Sadlier came close to ending City’s unbeaten run at a sunny Showgrounds but John Caulfield’s boys rescued the situation after the break.
Match referee Robert Hennessy penalised City skipper Alan Bennett for a foul on Liam Martin and Sadlier, a target of John Caulfield’s for next season, sent Mark McNulty the wrong way from 12 yards.
Sean Maguire missed a 60th penalty for Cork shooting wide before French man and former Sligo Rovers striker Achille Campion equalised on 64 minutes with a tap-in from Johnny Dunleavy’s pin point cross.
The opening goal was against the run of play but gave the home team renewed confidence and belief after a shaky start to the action.
Twice in the opening 90 seconds Micheal Schlingermann denied Jimmy Keohane and then Karl Sheppard in the same attack after Stephen Dooley’s ball into the box caused chaos in the home defence.
But after that bright start, City faded noticeably, and it took two exceptional saves from McNulty to keep the Bit O’Red to that one goal advantage at the break.
He dived high to push away Jonah Ayunga’s effort on 35 minutes, and then a minute later, he got down low to smother Raffaele Cretaro’s 30 yard drive.
Cork missed a great chance to draw level when Maguire missed his 60th minute spot kick after Karl Sheppard was upended by Kyle Callan-McFadden before Campion rescued a tricky situation for the league leaders with a 64th minute tap-inn before O’Connor’ 81st minute goal direct from a corner kick.
Sligo Rovers (4-2-3-1) - Schlingermann; Boylan, McFadden, Leahy, Donelon; Kenny, Roddan; Sadlier, Cretaro, Martin; Ayunga.
Subs. Place for Ayunga (65 mins),Walsh for Cretaro (65 mins), Mahon, Keaney, Hannon & Patton (not used)
Cork City (4-2-3-1) - McNulty; Dunleavy, Bennett (capt), Delaney, O’Connor; Bolger, McCormack; Sheppard, Keohane, Dooley; Maguire.
Subs. Campion for McCormack (66 mins), Griffin for Sheppard (87 mins), Kavanagh, Beattie, Morrissey, Ellis & Smith (not used
Referee: Robert Hennessy (Dublin)