City recovered from the setback of a Colin Healy own-goal to equalise with a first half Denis Behan penalty before claiming what for a long time had seemed an unlikely three points through Danny Morrissey’s first league goal for the club nine minutes from the end.
Both sides had come into this game requiring the balm of points to restore confidence following some bruising results.
On the heavily sanded Dalymount surface, the teams exchanged early efforts on goal, an acrobatic Denis Behan half-volley stopped with his legs by Bohs keeper Dean Delany before, at the opposite end, Chris Lyons turned Kalen Spillane inside out in the box only to drive his close-range shot into the side-netting.
The home side were settling better and City keeper Mark McNulty had to show safe hands to hold a powerful shot from Derek Pender. In the absence of the suspended Darren Dennehy, John Dunleavy formed Cork’s centre-half partnership with Kalen Spillane while, for Bohs, the vastly experienced Owen Heary was keeping a close eye on Behan. But, in the absence of a decent final ball, there was little to trouble either defence in a largely incident-free opening half-hour.
That was until the 35th minute, when the visitors pressed the self-destruct button, once again succumbing to a routine set-piece. Colin Healy, facing his own goal, stretched out a leg in an attempt to intercept a floated Stephen Traynor corner but succeeded only in turning the ball into the roof of the Cork net.
But, to their credit, the Rebels responded with gusto, Shane Duggan always a driving force in the middle of the park, and when, in the 41st minute, Gearoid Morrissey was tripped in the box by Ryan McEvoy as he prepared to pull the trigger following a sweet one-two with Behan, it was the latter who promptly stepped up to bury the resulting penalty and bring Cork level going into the break.
But it was Bohs who came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half and, after a poor clearance by Gearoid Morrissey, McNulty had to react well to bat a fierce Luke Byrne drive away for a corner. There was less luck for McNulty’s counterpart Dean Delany, forced off with an injury in the 64th minute to be replaced by Greg Murray. A minute later, Daryl Horgan, having a poor game for Cork, was called ashore, Tommy Dunne sending on Ian Turner in a bid to inject fresh energy into a team struggling to regain a foothold in the game.
With the Bohs pressure almost relentless, only a brilliant 72nd minute one-handed save from McNulty kept Cork in it, as Dave Scully got a touch on Luke Byrne’s cross. Dunne then sent on Daryl Kavanagh for Denis Behan as Cork looked for some way to turn the tide but it was the home side who continued to rack up the corner count.
Danny Morrissey did have a great chance in the 80th minute when set up by Duggan but his shot was feeble and easily held by Bohs’ substitute keeper. But a minute later, the striker got it absolutely right, stabbing home a pull-back from his namesake Gearoid to give Cork an unlikely lead.
Another fine McNulty save from a Michael Barker free helped retain City’s advantage and then, with Cork nerves jangling in time added on, the visitors had Kalen Spillane to thank for what was effectively a match-winning clearance when McNulty, well out of his goal, was left exposed by a terrible Neal Horgan backpass.
BOHEMIANS: Delany (Murray 64), Pender, Heary, Mulcahy, Traynor (Barker 82), Byrne, Moore (Devaney 82), Mulligan, McEvoy, Lyons, Scully
CORK CITY: McNulty, N Horgan, Dunleavy (Buckley 88), Spillane, Murphy, G Morrissey, Healy, Duggan, D Horgan (Turner 65), D. Morrissey, Behan (Kavanagh 74)
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin)