Bohemians moved to within a point of second-placed Dundalk in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division – and Cork City remain bottom – after Andre Wright scored a fourth-minute winner at Turner’s Cross on Sunday evening.
The last time the Gypsies won on Leeside was in 2017, City’s title-winning season, but while that victory was a penalty against the run of play, this was a well-deserved victory for Keith Long’s side, who will look to show that they can force a three-way title race when they host the champions this Friday evening. In contrast, City will go to Waterford on Saturday, knowing that they are in a relegation battle, having scored just once in their six outings to date.
City did press in the closing stages after the introductions of attacking players Dáire O’Connor and Evan Galvin, but if Bohs had conceded an equaliser then they would have been guilty of failing to make the game safe as they created enough chances.
Thankfully for them, they took the first one and it proved to be enough. Danny Grant, the visitors’ creative hub in the absence of Danny Mandroiu, was the source of the goal as he came in from the left and curled a shot goalwards, forcing Mark McNulty to palm the ball away to the left. Wright reacted quicker than the City defence that was playing together for the first time and his shot went in off the post.
With City knocked back by the early concession, Bohs were able to dictate thanks to captain Keith Buckley and JJ Lunney in midfield. Twice, former City defender Dan Casey went close to finding a second for them, sending a low free-kick wide and heading off-target from a Lunney corner, while Dawson Devoy should have done better after Grant found him in space.
At the other end, the closest City came in the first half was when Cian Murphy, tireless at centre-forward, nearly latched on to a McNulty goal-kick but Anto Breslin did well to clear the danger.
It remained 1-0 at half-time and there was no change to the overall landscape of the game on the restart. Grant and Wright each had a chance early on in the second half but failed to test McNulty and Bohs were almost punished as Murphy blocked down a clearance by goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness but the ball looped over the crossbar.
That was only brief respite for City, though. Bohs’ Kris Twardek was wayward with a header from a good Devoy free-kick, Grant and Lunney both saw shots parried and then held by McNulty, while Wright’s 30-yarder flew inches wide.
On 72 minutes, City’s Murphy headed over from a Cian Coleman cross and in the final few minutes, the home side pressed again in a final bid to salvage something from the game. Deshane Dalling saw a shot half-blocked by Buckley, with McGuinness pouncing on the loose ball, while Galvin’s good run ended with a curling shot which the keeper held.
In injury time, City had one last opportunity as O’Connor’s low ball from the right looked to have teed Dalling up for a shot but he took his eye off the ball and failed get a clean connection.
McNulty; Kargbo, Olowu, Bennett, K O’Connor; Coleman, Ochieng, Byrne (Galvin 72); McGlade (D O’Connor 67), Murphy, Dalling.
McGuinness; Lyons, Cornwall, Casey, Breslin; Buckley, Lunney; Twardek, Devoy (Ward 85), Grant; Wright (Corcoran 85).
S Grant (Wexford).