For Bohemians, their goal drought continued on a night of relentless rain in Dalymount Park, and the home side’s misery was completed with the sending off of Mark Quigley 10 minutes from the end.
Cork came into this one on a winning streak of four in a row in the league whereas Bohs had not only not managed a win but had failed to even register a goal in their last five outings.
The visitors had Kenny Browne back from suspension and Gavan Holohan in for the injured Gearóid Morrissey, while Garry Buckley and Alan Bennett had both recovered from knocks to start. For Bohs, injury concerns Aymen Ben Mohammed and Ismahil Akinade were both on the bench at the start.
If the game had kicked off at 5pm it would have pleasantly defined the concept of a summer football fixture but by the time the first whistle blew the heat and haziness of earlier in the day in Dubin had abruptly deteriorated into teeming rain, driven across the pitch by a cold, blustery wind.
Bohs had the better of a scrappy opening phase in conditions that were distinctly slippery underfoot, some early pressure and uncertain Cork defending combining to raise the hopes of the locals that they might finally see an end to their side’s barren run in front of goal. For their part, City’s only real sight of goal in the first 20 minutes was a Kevin O’Connor free-kick from just outside the box which floated over the angle of crossbar and post.
But as the largely underwhelming action moved towards the break, Cork began to establish a grip on the ball – and the game – with Kenny Browne building from the back, and Garry Buckley in midfield linking up with winger Steven Beattie or the overlapping Dunleavy to provide better service for Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard.
Ten minutes from half-time, City finally extracted a big save from Dean Delany, as the Bohs keeper did well to parry a powerful, deflected shot from Greg Bolger, after excellent work in the build-up by Maguire and Sheppard. And confirming the visitors’ increasing dominance, Maguire then went close with a glancing header in the last significant action of the half.
With the rain intensifying, the playing surface had a treacherous look about it as the game resumed, raising the prospect that a slip might prove as critical to the eventual outcome as a piece of skill.
But there was nothing accidental about the breakthrough when in came in the 47th minute, Maguire doing well to work the ball across the face of goal from close to the end line for Garry Buckley to supply the straightforward close-range finish.
After that, there was precious little of note in the energy-sapping conditions right up until the 80th minute when referee Rob Rogers showed a straight red to substitute Mark Quigley for a tackle which left Karl Sheppard on the turf.
As he had been for most of the match, Mark McNulty remained wholly untroubled in the Cork goal until the last minute of normal time when substitute Ismahil Akinade unlashed a fierce drive which flew just wide of the ‘keeper’s. But City were able to see out the additional minutes against the ten men, to leave their hardy band of travelling supporters, in a crowd of 1,092, singing in the rain at the end.
McNulty, Dunleavy, Bennett, Browne, O’Connor, Beattie (Healy 92), Bolger , Holohan (McSweeney 86), Buckley, Sheppard, Maguire (O’Sullivan 81)
Delaney, Pender, Prendergast, Mulcahy, Fitzgerald, Wearen, Kavanagh (Akinade 70), Buckley (Quigley 63), Lopes, Kelly, K. Byrne (Mohammed 57)
Robert Rogers (Dublin)