Cork City 2 Longford Town 3: A late Kevin O’Connor goal saw Longford Town move to within three points of preserving their Premier Division status next season as they shocked an out of sorts Cork City at Turner’s Cross last night.
Cork have now gone four league games without a win and another flat performance must have manager John Caulfield worried with the FAI Cup final only three weeks away.
On the other hand, Longford deserved the win after being gifted a way back into the game just before the break after Karl Sheppard had put the home side in front.
Having lacked spark in front of goal recently, City had Mark O’Sullivan returning from injury to spearhead their attack. John Dunleavy and Billy Dennehy also came into the side as City showed three changes to the side that drew in Drogheda last week, with Garry Buckley, Gavan Holohan and the suspended Ross Gaynor missing out.
Longford boss Tony Cousins made two changes to the side that drew with Sligo last week with Noel Haverty and Lorcan Shannon being replaced by David O’Sullivan and Mark Rossiter.
The home side almost got off to the ideal start inside the opening four minutes when Steven Beattie broke forward, his cross was almost turned into his own net by Rossiter and Billy Dennehy couldn’t force the ball home from the narrowest of angles as the ball came back off the post.
David O’Sullivan had a good chance to put the away side in front in the 21st minute when Aymen Ben Mohamed crossed from the left and the striker’s shot was well blocked by Kevin O’Connor.
Mark O’Sullivan twice went close before City deservedly hit the front in the 31st minute when Liam Miller found Sheppard with a delicate ball over the top and he calmly controlled it before slotting home.
Beattie was unlucky not to increase City’s lead twice in quick succession as City dominated proceedings but amazingly found themselves behind at the break.
Longford were gifted an equaliser in the 40th minute when Dean Kelly intercepted Darren Dennehy’s poor pass before racing forward and squaring the ball to O’Sullivan, who smashed his shot past McNulty.
Three minutes later O’Sullivan crossed from the right and substitute Stephen Rice, who was only on the pitch two minutes side-footed home, at the back post.
A shocked Caulfield must have had some choice words to say to his players at half-time after a disastrous five minutes and introduced Danny Morrisey and Gavan Holohan at the break for O’Sullivan and Miller.
City were level in the 63rd minute when Beattie was on hand to tap home after Skinner made a great stop to keep out Morrissey’s header from a Billy Dennehy free-kick.
Morrissey went close with an overhead kick in the 76th minute but Longford always looked dangerous on the break and the excellent O’Sullivan, who gave the City defence all sorts of problems all night, set up O’Connor to side-foot home the winner six minutes from time.
McNulty; McSweeney, Murray, D. Dennehy, O’Connor; Sheppard, Dunleavy, Miller (Holohan 45), Beattie, B Dennehy (O’Flynn 76); O’Sullivan (Morrissey 45).
Skinner; Sullivan, Gorman, Rossiter, Powell; Shaw, Gannon, O’Connor, Kelly (Rice 41), Ben Mohamed (Simon 69); O’Sullivan.
B Connolly (Dublin).
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