New signing Danny Furlong and Daryl Horgan were the scoring heroes as the home side overturned Owen Heary’s lead goal for a spirited Bohemians.
The evening was marred somewhat by an unsavoury incident involving the visiting supporters, as a few fans invaded the pitch following the opening goal. One was wrestled to the ground and escorted away, but with FAI chief executive John Delaney sitting stony-faced and unimpressed, there are likely to be repercussions for the Phibsboro club.
It wasn’t enough to detract from what was, overall, a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle though. The opening league game of any season at Turner’s Cross is always subject to much excitement on Leeside, and the crowd of close to 3,000 were sent home happy in the end.
City, while disappointing for much of the opening period, were a transformed team after the break and at the end of it provided much cause for optimism for the campaign ahead.
Having bemoaned the lack of support afforded to lone frontman Daryl Kavanagh in last week’s scoreless game away to Limerick, manager Tommy Dunne introduced Furlong from the start. And after a tame start, his introduction paid dividends as he played a crucial role in their comeback.
City enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges but failed to really penetrate the Bohemians defence. The first clearcut chance arrived on 20 when Heary, always the subject of much taunting down through the years at the Cross, saved Bohs’ bacon with a typical last-ditch block from a stinging Daryl Horgan effort.
The Gypsies, however, always remained a live threat; Chris Lyons scuffing narrowly wide from a decent position just before the half-hour mark and Luke Moore causing Neal Horgan some problems down the left flank.
Kavanagh tried an audacious flick over the head of Dean Delany soon after, though the former Shels stopper was never going to be beaten by such a tame effort.
With three minutes to go until half-time, Bohs took the lead as Heary’s headed home Ryan McEvoy’s corner at the near post, with the home defence left static by the well-worked move.
Kavanagh did come close to drawing level on the stroke of half-time when a smart free-kick was played to him by Daryl Horgan, though his strike was deflected over the bar.
Whatever message Dunne delivered to his players at the interval worked the oracle as they drew level within six minutes of the restart through Furlong. His diagonal run met a lovely weighted pass from Kavanagh and the finish crept low into the left corner past an outstretched Delany.
It was all one-way traffic after that and on the verge of the hour mark, City were ahead through Daryl Horgan. Kavanagh played the assist again, and although Delany got his hand to the effort, Horgan’s finish had just enough power to make it over the line.
City continued to control the game once ahead, Furlong and Horgan both coming close to adding a third, but they just couldn’t find a security goal and were left sweating when keeper Mark McNulty produced a stunning stop to keep a McEvoy free-kick out seven minutes from time.
Furlong hit the bar a minute later with a ferocious volley, but in the end the home side had enough in their locker to secure the points.
CORK CITY: McNulty; N Horgan, K Murray, D Murray, D Murphy; Morrissey, Healy, Duggan, D Horgan (Rundle 90); Furlong, Kavanagh (Turner 86).
BOHEMIANS: Delany; Pender, Heary, Lopes, Byrne; Buckley, McEvoy, Traynor (Scully 71), Devaney, Moore (Nangle 63); Lyons (Hanaphy 80).
Referee: P Sutton (Clare).