Derry City 0 Cork City 0: It was very much a case of advantage Dundalk as Cork City failed to make inroads following what proved a scoreless bore at the Brandywell last night.
And with both clubs having been involved in action on Friday night, it was clear that fatigue played a major role in this game as the Leesiders failed to leapfrog Derry City and reclaim second spot in the table.
With clear-cut chances at an absolute premium throughout the 90 minutes, the home attendance of 2,000 left disappointed but it could have been so much worse had Sean Maguire taken advantage of an excellent chance at the death.
The striker was set up by fellow substitute, Mark O’Sullivan who used his physical presence to good effort before Maguire put the ball over the bar and within a minute, Garry Buckley directed a shot straight at Ger Doherty much to the disgust of the Cork dugout.
In the end, a share of the spoils was probably a fair result with neither side having done enough to win the game.
Cork made three changes from the team held by Bohemians on Friday night, Dave Mulcahy, Gearóid Morrissey and Danny Morrissey replacing Gavan Holohan, Michael McSweeney and Sean Maguire. And operating a 4-2-3-1 formation, the ‘Leesiders’ failed to get into the stride in the opening period.
For Derry, the gamble on playing captain, Ryan McBride backfired, the centre-back forced off the pitch after just 12 minutes due to a groin injury, Patrick McClean, younger brother of Irish international James, entering the fray.
Opting to remain loyal to the side which hit Finn Harps for five last weekend, Derry started brightly with Barry McNamee involved in everything that was good about the home side during the opening period.
And it was Derry who threatened first following a fluent move in the 18th minute. McNamee won the ball in midfield and when he found Rory Patterson in space, the striker back-heeled the ball into the path of Nathan Boyle whose effort was blocked by Cork centre-back, Alan Bennett. Having surprisingly taken just one point from six in their last two games at Turner’s Cross, John Caulfield’s men failed to create any noteworthy scoring chances during the opening 45 minutes, excepting a Mulcahy shot in the 43rd minute which was charged down by the home defence.
That said, Cork custodian, Mark McNulty, wasn’t seriously tested either, despite smothering the ball in the 40th minute when easily gathering Patterson’s attempted overhead kick from close range.
It was very much a case of more of the same after the break, although Cork did improve and began to become much more prominent in the in the final third.
A threatening cross from Steven Beattie was beaten away by the home defence while centre-half, Kenny Browne headed another effort straight at keeper, Ger Doherty, as the visitors began to enjoyed spells of decent possession.
Loan striker, Danny Morrissey, was called ashore early in the second-half with the fresh legs of Sean Maguire beginning to make a difference as he managed to stretch the home defence.
With the game continuing to disappoint, Derry really should have broke the deadlock with 14 minutes remaining.
A cross from the right from substitute, Josh Daniels, was met by Patterson but the striker got it all wrong with the goal at his mercy, the ball failing to hit the target.
At the other end in the 83rd minute, an O’Sullivan downward header fell well for Karl Sheppard but he appeared to snatch at his shot which failed to find the target.
Doherty; McDermott, Vemmelund, McBride (McClean, 12), Jarvis; McEneff, McCormack; Boyle (Daniels, 65), McNamee, Schubert; Patterson.
McNulty; Mulcahy, Browne, Bennett, O’Connor; Bolger (O’Sullivan, 82), G. Morrissey; Beattie (Sheppard, 65), Buckley, Dooley; D. Morrissey (Maguire, 52).
David McKeon (Dublin).
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