Cork City took a point from a fiercely contested Premier Division game at Richmond Park last night but their reward from the trip to the capital could have been better.
Tadhg Purcell had the ball in the Pat’s net in the second-half but his effort was ruled out for pushing. Purcell later hit the bar and then saw his penalty saved by Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke on 79 minutes.
Pat’s had several scoring chances, particularly in the first half, but were denied by City goalkeeper Mark McNulty, who was in top form.
Pat’s had settled better and had the first chance on four minutes. The City defence allowed Darren Meenan time and space to unleash a shot from the left but all he could find was the side netting.
It was from the other wing the home side threatened most. On nine minutes Jake Kelly got the better of Danny Murphy but in the ensuing rush for the ball, Kelly was taken down just outside the area by McNulty, resulting in a yellow card for the City number one.
The visitors soon settled in and on 15 minutes Purcell found Daryl Horgan deep on the right. Horgan squeezed a low drive on target but Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke saved at his near post.
Then on 17 minutes a brilliant move started by Davin O’Neill on the left saw Murphy play an exquisite ball to Horgan, who in turn found Vinnie Sullivan just outside the box. Sullivan got his shot in but it wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Clarke. A minute later at the other end Chris Forrester smashed a terrific shot from 25 yards out but McNulty saved well.
It was end to end stuff and just moments later Purcell got on the end of Horgan’s cross and shot from close range but again Clarke was in the right place to block the effort.
Forrester was next to threaten the City goal, on 27 minutes, flashing a free kick from 30 yards just wide.
Gearoid Morrissey wasted a glorious chance for City on 41 minutes when he miscued his free kick from the left of the box and sent the ball high and wide.
McNulty was kept busy by Pat’s as the second half developed. He did well on 49 minutes to save Forrester’s deflected shot and made no mistake when dealing with a shot from Meenan on 54 minutes. Sloppy Pat’s defending allowed Sullivan have a pop at goal on 61 minutes but his strike went wide.
McNulty then rose highest in the box on 62 to cleanly catch Ger O’Brien’s cross before the inrushing Christy Fagan could connect.
City had the ball in the net on 65 minutes when Purcell got his head to Horgan’s corner but the goal was disallowed when the assistant referee on the near side spotted an infringement as the ball was delivered into the box.
City pushed on and Purcell then had a cracking shot deflected off the crossbar on 70 minutes while O’Neill was denied by Clarke on 72 minutes.
Pat’s were still having chances of their own and McNulty made a good save with his legs from Forrester on 76 minutes.
City were handed a great opportunity on 79 minutes when they were awarded a penalty when Purcell was taken down in the box by Kenny Browne. Purcell took the spot kick himself but Clarke blocked it to save a point for St Pat’s.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Bermingham, Browne, Kenna, O’Brien; Meenan (Carroll 83 mins), Forrester, Flynn, Russell, J Kelly (O’Connor 63 mins); Fagan (Daly 72 mins).
CORK CITY: McNulty; Murphy, Spillane, Dunleavy, Healy; O’Neill, Duggan, Morrissey, Horgan; Purcell, Sullivan.
Referee: P McLoughlin (Monaghan).
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