Davin O’Neill secured a priceless three points for City at Turner’s Cross in a relatively one-sided Airtricity First Division clash but their inability to turn dominance into goals could have easily seen the Galway side, who conceded seven goals in their last outing at home to Derry, steal at least a draw.
Cork hadn’t managed a league win in almost a month which might go some way to explaining their nervousness in front of goal. They had to wait until the 80th minute to see off the stubborn resistance of the visitors whose bravery in the tackle frustrated Cork time and again.
“We kept playing which was the main thing and we kept creating chances,” said Dunne afterwards. “If we weren’t creating chances then I’d be really worried. It’s just that we’re not converting at the moment. It could be a little bit of nerves and the fact we’re at home. It’s not that we’re not practising. We’ve been doing it for the whole week. Sometimes I think I’m better off not having them practice their shots.
“In fairness, we’re working hard, we’re playing good football, we’re creating openings and it’s just we’ve got to work on the last third of the pitch, timing runs and making angles.”
Goalscorer O’Neill was also relieved by the win.
“We knew it was going to be hard to break them down after what happened them in the Derry game,” he said. “We were delighted when it eventually came. It was a great ball from Dave (Rogers) to (Paul) Deasy and just to get on the end of the cross was the main thing. We haven’t played well at home, I can’t put my finger on it. We’re creating chances, we just need to score more goals.”
It was an entertaining start to the game and Cork were the better side earl on.
With almost two minutes gone, a well-placed Davin O’Neill header was cleared off the line by Salthill centre back Paddy Quinlan. Soon after Cork keeper Mark McNulty did very well to save from striker Mike Kennedy who should have done better with the only the home keeper to beat.
The chances kept coming for the hosts deep into the second half as Salthill sat deeper and deeper. As the contest began to wilt, Daryl Horgan came close for Salthill kicking their hosts into action.
Having weathered that mini-storm, Cork finally got a grip on proceedings. With 10 minutes to go, a low cross to the front post from Deasy after good work down the left by Rogers found O’Neill who drilled home a left-footed strike from six yards
CORK CITY: M McNulty; I Turner, S Mulcahy, G O’Halloran, D Rogers; Cillian Lordan (capt); D O’Neill, Cathal Lordan, D Warren, S Duggan; G Cummins.
Subs: P Deasy for Warren, 70; R Morrissey for Cathal Lordan, 79;
SALTHILL DEVON: R Forde; L McConnell, J Whelan (capt), P Quinlan, G O’Leidhinn; G Dolan, M Quirke, S Stenson, S Browne; M Kennedy, D Horgan.
Subs: D O’Reilly for Kennedy, 75; E Dunne for Quirke, M Maracanek for Horgan, both 82.
Referee: St Templeman (Kerry).