Cork City 5 Galway United 3
Dave Mulcahy was the unlikely two-goal hero as a rampant Cork City moved to within four points of leaders Dundalk at the top of the SSE Airtricity League premier division after putting five past a poor Galway United at Turner’s Cross last night.
After dropping points in Sligo on Saturday, it was imperative John Caulfield’s side picked up all three on offer last night to keep the pressure on Stephen Kenny’s men, who return to European action tomorrow.
And they did so with the minimum of fuss as they turned in a superb display coupled with some awful defending from the visitors.
With one eye on Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final against St Pat’s, who won’t relish the thought of meeting City in this type of form, Caulfield even had the luxury of bringing on his three substitutes in the second half.
Caulfield made one change to the side that drew 0-0 up in Sligo on Saturday night, Mulcahy in at right back in place of Michael McSweeney.
Tommy Dunne’s Galway were beaten 4-2 by Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Friday and he made four changes to that side, with goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom making way for Conor Winn and Gary Shanahan, Kevin Devaney, and Enda Curran all relegated to the bench. They were replaced by Conor Melody, Killian Cantwell, and Vinny Faherty.
After some suspect goalkeeping and defending on Friday night, Dunne would have been hoping his side would tighten up here, but his hopes were dashed as early as the 6th minute through another bad mistake.
Goalkeeper Winn failed to deal with Kevin O’Connor’s inswinging corner kick and Mulcahy was first to react to force the ball home to give the home side the ideal start.
City were on top of their game early on, with Galway camped in their own half across the first 30 minutes.
Red-hot Sean Maguire made it 2-0 in the 21st minute. Again it was the superb O’Connor who was the provider as he whipped in another dangerous cross from the left and Maguire stole in at the near post to finish first time past Winn.
City were strolling but Galway scored entirely against the run of play 10 minutes from the break when Cantwell headed home Ryan Connolly’s free-kick from the right.
Galway’s joy was short-lived, however, as they conceded again three minutes later when Karl Sheppard crossed from the right and the inrushing Garry Buckley headed past Winn.
It was 4-1 on the stroke of half time when Maguire crossed and Mulcahy got in front of the sleeping Marc Ludden to score his second of the night.
Dunne wasn’t enjoying the best of returns to his former club and made a double substitution at half time, with Shanahan and Devaney introduced as Galway looked for some way back into the game with their front two of Connolly and Faherty starved of any service.
Devaney should have scored in the 59th minute but he sidefooted Faherty’s pass wide with McNulty beaten. However, the same player did score five minutes later when he controlled Connolly’s cross before curling a delightful effort past McNulty from the edge of the box.
Just as in the first half, Dunne’s side conceded again within three minutes of scoring; this time O’Connor got the goal his performance deserved when his sweetly struck free-kick took a wicked deflection off the wall and wrongfooted Winn.
John Kavanagh made a welcome return to league action after a nightmare time with injuries as he replaced O’Connor late on, just before Devaney completed the scoring with a fantastic individual goal in the 90th minute.
CORK CITY: McNulty, Mulcahy, Bennett, Browne, O’Connor (Kavanagh 88), Sheppard, Buckley (Holohan 72), G Morrissey, Bolger (Healy 72), Dooley, Maguire.
GALWAY UNITED: Winn, Cantwell (Shanahan 45), Aganovic, Folan, Horgan, Sinnott (Curran 72), Melody (Devaney 45), Byrne, Ludden, Connolly, Faherty.
Referee: J McKell (Tipperary).
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