Cork City reignite title challenge against Longford Town

Cork City 5 Longford Town 2
Cork City reignite title challenge against Longford Town

John Caulfield’s side must wish they could play Longford every week as they have now scored a whopping 18 goals against the midlanders in four matches this season.

And this victory is sure to breathe some much needed confidence into Caulfield’s side, who had suffered somewhat after their recent European exploits came to an end.

The home side were looking for their first league win in four games going into last night’s game, and Caulfield only made the one change from the side that brushed aside the same opposition last week in the FAI Cup, with Gavan Holohan coming in for Garry Buckley.

New Longford boss Alan Mathews didn’t take charge of last week’s 4-1 defeat and he had goalkeeper Ryan Coulter returning from suspension as he made three changes from last week’s side.

Peter McGlynn and Kealon Dillon also started, with Paul Skinner, Gaius Makouta and Don Cowan all making way.

Mathews won two FAI Cups during his first spell as Longford boss but could have done with an easier fixture to kick off his new tenure.

Any notions he had of his side frustrating the home side for as long as possible went out the window inside six minutes when City hit the front.

Steven Beattie did well to win a corner and Alan Bennett headed Kevin O’Connor’s inswinger home from six yards to give Caulfield’s side the ideal start.

The goal settled City and seven minutes later they were two goals to the good. Stephen Dooley slid a nice ball through to Sean Maguire, who calmly clipped the ball over the outrushing Coulter.

Longford didn’t look all that bad and looked threatening going forward but found themselves 3-0 behind in the 26th minute when McGlynn was adjudged to have brought down Bennett in the box and Maguire sent Coulter the wrong way with his spot-kick.

Just before that, Mark McNulty had to make a great save to tip Dillon’s volley over his crossbar before Eddie Dsane should have put his header away from the resulting corner kick.

McNulty had to make another smart save to deny Dillon again before McGlynn reduced the deficit on the stroke off half-time when he curled a superb effort into the top corner following some good work by Dsane.

Longford’s leaky defence were again exposed three minutes after the break when Maguire found Karl Sheppard with a lovely pass and Sheppard finished neatly as he followed up his goal last week with another.

Sheppard was unlucky not to add to his tally when his looping header carried narrowly wide before he had another header cleared off the line following a mix up in the Longford box.

Exciting substitute Chiedozie Ogbene nearly scored the goal of the game just after coming on when he beat three players inside the box but his finish came back off the post with Coulter beaten.

McGlynn did get his second of the game four minutes from time when his cross from the right wasn’t dealt with and ended up in the back of the net but Ogbene then set up Sheppard to tap home his second and City’s fifth in the 90th minute.

CORK CITY: Mc Nulty, Beattie, Browne (Mulcahy 58), Bennett, O’Connor, Sheppard, G Morrissey (Healy 62). Holahan, Bolger, Dooley (Ogbene 79), Maguire,.

LONGFORD TOWN: Coulter, Mulhall, Gormon, Mvita Nkelu (Flynn 71), Powell, McGlynn, Gannon (Makouta 77), O’Connor (Hughes 62), Simon, Dillon, Dsane.

Referee: P McLaughlin (Donegal).

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