[team1]Cork City[/team1][score1]4[/score1][team2]Maynooth University Town[/team2][score2]0[/score2][/score]
Three second half goals put the gloss on Cork City’s performance as the FAI Cup holders booked their place in the last eight of this season’s competition as they strolled to a facile victory over Maynooth University Town at Turner’s Cross last night.
John Caulfield’s side have won the competition for the past two seasons and have had a relatively easy passage to the quarter-finals so far after drawing Home Farm in the previous round.
Last night, they again weren’t at their best but after going in for the break only one in front, their superior fitness told in the second half as the Leinster Senior League side began to tire.
After returning from European action, City were very lethargic in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with St Pat’s at the same venue. And manager John Caulfield made wholesale changes against the minnows as he gave a lot of his regular starters a well-needed rest after a hectic recent schedule.
Barry Prenderville knew his side had nothing to lose and the Maynooth manager didn’t throw 10 men behind the ball as his team tried to play from the start.
Prenderville’s side held their own for most of the opening half hour as holders City started slowly again in front of a small crowd of 1,016 and Daniel Burke had a snap shot that whistled narrowly over Peter Cherrie’s crossbar in the 25th minute.
September is Men’s Cancer Awareness month and City wore a one-off, special edition blue shirt last night and the club will auction the shirts on ebay next month in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the Mercy Hospital.
City looked flat again in their blue shirts and the game needed a goal to awaken the crowd. It duly arrived in the 29th minute when Aaron Barry rose highest at the back post to head home former Derry team-mate Barry McNamee’s corner kick.
The goal sparked a bit of life into the home side and Maynooth goalkeeper David Sterio pulled off a great save to deny McNamee shortly afterwards before saving from the same player again moments later.
Kieran Sadlier had a frustrating first half but displayed what he has in his locker 10 minutes after the break when he turned superbly on the edge of the box before rifling a superb left footed shot home that gave Sterio no chance.
It was all City now as Maynooth tired and Josh O’Hanlon was brought down in the box by Shane Harte eight minutes later before dusting himself down to send Sterio the wrong way from the spot.
Caulfield had the luxury of introducing youngsters Ronan Hurley and Alec Byrne after the third goal and Hurley set up number four shortly after coming on when his low cross was tucked away at the near post by Ronan Coughlan.
City continued to press in search of number five but Prenderville’s side battled bravely and did well to frustrate the home side, who are now only two games away from another date at the Aviva for what would be their fourth year on the trot contesting the final.
Cherrie, McCarthy, Barry, Bennett (Hurley 68), Dunleavy, O’Hanlon, Phillips, Morrissey, McNamee (Byrne 68), Sadlier (Daly-Butz 64), Coughlan.
Sterio, Harte, Mooney, Dunne, Daly, Burke, Gannon (Foley 60), Colgan (Kinsella 82), Duffy, Reynor, McDermott (Donnellan 67).
S Grant (Wexford).