Cork City canter past Athlone side St Peter’s in FAI Cup clash

Cork City 4 St Peter’s 0
Last season’s FAI Cup runners-up Cork City made light work of St Peter’s at Turners Cross last night as they strolled into the third round of this season’s competition with a comfortable win over the Athlone side.

Three up at the break, it looked like City would easily get another three or four in the second half but they had to make do with one more as they took their foot off the gas and St Peter’s showed character to keep the score respectable.

With such a strong squad now at his disposal, Cork manager John Caulfield had the luxury of making seven changes to the side that defeated Derry City at the same venue last week, and still had a side that would be the envy of many premier division teams in the country.

The FAI Junior Cup semi-finalists were always going to find it difficult against their more illustrious counterparts and their task was made even harder when they had to plan without their first choice goalkeeper Keith Hynes, who was injured with Phillip Coffey taking his place between the sticks.

Coffey was picking the ball out of this net for the first time as early as the 11th minute when Kevin O’Connor rose unopposed in the box to head home Ian Turner’s free-kick.

The keeper did make a good stop to deny Mark O’Sullivan three minutes later from point blank range but he was beaten again in the 19th minute when Gavan Holohan volleyed a cracking effort home from 25 yards.

City, who are second favourites for the competition this season, didn’t let up in their quest for goals and Mark O’Sullivan set up Stephen Dooley, who rifled home number three in the 33rd minute as City threatened to run riot before half-time.

The gulf in class was there for all to see but credit to the Combined Counties League side, who were being overrun but dug deep and did well to keep the score at 3-0 going in for the break.

Fitness was always going to count and Mark O’Sullivan got in on the scoring when he headed home another great O’Connor delivery six minutes into the second half.

You could sense the visitors were getting a little frustrated with the way the game was working out and Neil Harney and David Brooks were booked in quick succession for two wild tackles. 

Manager Phillip Coffey certainly didn’t need his side to be reduced to ten men and he made two substitutions in a bid to breathe a bit of life into his tiring troops.

Brooks came close with a rasping effort which had Alan Smith scrambling in one of St Peter’s rare sojourns into Cork City territory before the small crowd of 666 saw the game fizzle out as City failed to add to their tally.

CORK CITY: McNulty, Dunleavy (Donnellan 34), McSweeney, Browne (Beattie 45), O’Connor, Turner, Healy, Holohan, Dooley, D Morrissey (Sheppard 78), O’Sullivan.

ST PETER’S: Coffey, Scullion, Harney, Delaney, McCrossan, Dillon (Donohoe 64), Brooks, Dempsey, Lee, Nkololo (Kelly 57), McConnell (Fallon 76).

Referee: P Sutton (Clare).


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