Cork City 1, Galway 0: Having looked like he had kicked his last ball for the club a few short weeks ago, Billy Dennehy is well and truly back in John Caulfield’s good books as his goal saw an out of sorts Cork City claim a priceless three points against a free-falling Galway United at Turner’s Cross last night.
With the home side struggling to breach a well organised Galway rearguard, Caulfield sprung the Tralee man from the bench nine minutes into the second half, and within four minutes, the winger had the ball in the net, with what turned out to be the match-winning goal, as he added to the goal he scored in his first appearance back in a City shirt against St Pat’s last week.
“It was great for Billy to come off the bench and get a great goal,” said Caulfield.
“The title is still there, Europe is still there so we need a vocal support for the game against Pat’s on Monday night.”
Caulfield only made the one change to the side that dumped holders St Pat’s out of the FAI Cup last week in a 4-0 romp, with Steven Beattie, who was cup-tied for that game, coming in to replace Kevin O’Connor.
Tommy Dunne’s Galway went into the game without a win in their last five league games, a streak that has seen them sucked into a relegation battle.
And Dunne made three changes to the side that exited the FAI Cup last week at the hands of Dundalk, replacing goalkeeper Ger Hanley with Conor Winn, while Jason Molloy and Killian Cantwell also started in place of Conor Melody and the suspended Enda Curran.
The visitors almost shocked the home crowd inside two minutes when Jake Keegan intercepted Liam Miller’s misplaced pass and curled a right footed effort inches wide of Mark McNulty’s post.
Dan Murray had to be alive to block Keegan’s effort three minutes later before the home side gradually began to take control.
Garry Buckley looked like he was going to open the scoring in the eighth minute after Beattie’s cut back but Sam Oji made a terrific block.
Alan Bennett than rattled the crossbar with a near post header from a Colin Healy corner kick before Karl Sheppard scooped the ball horribly over from six yards after Buckley had pulled the ball back from the byline.
McNulty had to be alive after Michael McSweeney’s underhit back pass almost let the lively Keegan in on goal as Galway looked threatening on the times they did venture forward.
It was all City though and it looked like it was only a matter of time before they hit the front when Ross Gaynor flashed an effort wide in the 25th minute.
However, that was about as exciting as it got, as the half remained scoreless.
With the news that Dundalk were trailing at half-time, the home support in a crowd of 2,518 were hoping for a repeat of last week’s second-half performance and Winn had to make two excellent saves to deny their former striker Sheppard within the opening six minutes of the second half as City upped the tempo.
Having made a goalscoring return last week following his infamous exile from the side, Dennehy then replaced Liam Miller and his introduction paid immediate dividends as he finished with aplomb after a long ball from McNulty was flicked on by O’Sullivan.
With Galway failing to trouble McNulty and with Dundalk dropping points, Dennehy and City still have an outside chance of catching Stephen Kenny’s side.
McNulty; McSweeney, Bennett, Murray, Gaynor; Beattie, Miller (B Dennehy 54), Healy, Buckley, Sheppard (Kearney 89); O’Sullivan.
Winn; Raftery, Oji, Cantwell, Horgan; Shanahan, O’Leary (O’Connell 85), Byrne, Sinnott, Molloy; Keegan.
Sean Grant (Wexford).
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