Second-half blitz gives City first win

CORK CITY rediscovered their scoring touch and reignited their Setanta Cup challenge with a four-goal salvo against Portadown at Turner’s Cross last evening.

All the goals came in the second half, as the Leesiders moved into second in their group with their first competitive win of the season.

After three minutes, Portadown almost took a shock lead when Gary McCutcheon’s sweet volley just dipped over Mick Devine’s crossbar.

Darren Murphy showed invention and skill to take the ball along the end line, and when the midfielder cut back to Roy O’Donovan, the forward struck his eight-yard effort off the crossbar.

Cork dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half: Dan Murray came close with a header and John O’Flynn brought out the best in Kevin Pressman before Softic’s delightful pass to O’Donovan saw him skim wide of Pressman’s goal.

City broke the deadlock two minutes after the restart. O’Flynn’s shot from outside the box found its way into O’Donovan’s path, and he calmly controlled and struck home from close range.

Cork piled on the pressure. Murphy was particularly impressive while O’Flynn and O’Donovan also began appearing a real handful for a busy Portadown back four.

There was little Pressman could do with Cork’s second goal. Ryan’s cross from the left was headed clear and Lordan showed impressive composure and technique to shoot a half volley from 20 yards.

Cork made it three on 76 minutes. Pressman made a meal of a back pass from Peter Kennedy, miskicking, and as the former Sheffield Wednesday custodian fell backwards, Roy O’Donovan tapped into an empty net.

Pressman redeemed himself four minutes later, diving low to his right to stop an O’Donovan penalty after Gareth McKeown had handled in the box.

But, just on full time, Cork made it four, when, showing superb skill, O’Donovan beat two defenders, setting up substitute Ray Lally to slip the ball between Pressman’s legs.

CORK CITY (4-4-2): Devine; Horgan, Kelly, Murray, Ryan; Cillian Lordan, Softic, Murphy (Cathal Lordan 74), Woods (Lally 87); O’Donovan, & O’Flynn (Behan 77).

PORTADOWN (4-4-1-1): Pressman; Craig, McStay, McKeown, Kennedy; Boyle, Marks, Collins (Teggart 61), McCann (Smart 73); McCutcheon (Liggett 67); Braniff.

Referee: D Malcolm (Irish League).

Linfield 2 Derry City 1

LINFIELD moved onto the summit of Setanta Group One following this deserved victory over Derry City at Windsor Park last night.

It all started so well for the ‘Candy Stripes’ when Mark Farren broke the deadlock in the 15th minute after Paddy McCourt’s shot screamed across the face of goal.

But back came Linfield and within four minutes, the Belfast ‘Blues’ levelled when Mark Dickson headed home Paul McAreavey’s corner-kick.

It got worse for the Foylesiders when, in the 44th minute, Cork ref Paul Buttimer pointed to the penalty spot after Darren Kelly had handled.

Up stepped Linfield’s Oran Kearney who sent Pat Jennings the wrong way.

DERRY CITY: Jennings; McCallion (Beckett, 80 mins.), Kelly, Oman, Rogers; Deery, Molloy, Martyn (Higgins, 80 mins.), McCourt (McGlynn 80 mins.); McHugh, Farren.

LINFIELD: Mannus; Ervin, Lindsay, Murphy, McCann; Dixon, Mulgrew, McAreavey, Kearney (McShane, 69 mins.); Thompson, Stewart (Bailie, 80 mins.)

Referee: Antony Buttimer (Cork).

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