Cork City 0 Derry City 1
Cork City lost their seven-game unbeaten run in the harshest of circumstances at Turner’s Cross yesterday as Northern Ireland striker Rory Patterson struck a rebounded penalty home on 89 minutes to steal the spoils for Derry City.
It was a cruel way to lose, but referee Paul Tuite had little option other than to point to the spot after substitute Adam Rundle handled a yard inside the area.
Mark McNulty produced a very good stop to deny Patterson’s initial effort, but there was no way he could keep the rebound out, the Candystripes’ lone frontman placing the ball calmly into the bottom corner to secure their first win on Leeside in over a decade.
In truth, it was a game neither side deserved to win. The 90 minutes were pock-marked by uncharacteristic errors, mostly down to an incredibly heavy pitch which wasn’t conducive to playing good football.
Cork boss Tommy Dunne, while bitterly disappointed, felt the surface spoiled the game as a spectacle.
“It was a 50-50 game, but we said at half-time a mistake was going to decide it. The pitch is terrible, there are too many games played on it and with the weather so bad over the past few days, it was impossible to play decent stuff on it.”
For Derry, who now move on to seven points, five behind early pacesetters Sligo Rovers, the result was all the more impressive considering they were severely understrength – with Barry McNamee and the McEleneys absent.
They threatened regularly from range, with recent addition Michael Rafter the pick of the visitors’ side. He forced McNulty into a pair of good stops either side of the break, while Mark Griffin also came close on the hour mark with a ferocious attempt from 25 yards.
But Cork also created several opportunities and with Daryl Horgan, playing despite picking up a back injury last week, always a threat, Gerard Doherty was called upon to keep Derry level.
He produced one superb stop on the stroke of half-time when Horgan fizzed in a cross from the left which almost crept in at the back-post with Daryl Kavanagh lurking dangerously.
“We played reasonably well and created some chances but I felt we were a little subdued in the final third,” Dunne added.
“I’m disappointed because I felt a point would have been the fairest result, we did more than enough to have deserved a draw. They didn’t create too much either. Please God we’ll get a slice of luck back to us later in the season.”
CORK CITY: McNulty; Dunleavy (Turner 81), K Murray, D Murray, Murphy; G Morrissey, Healy, Duggan, D Horgan (Rundle 81); Furlong, Kavanagh (D Morrissey 75).
DERRY CITY: Doherty; Madden, McBride, Duffy, Houston; Griffin, Higgins, Molloy, Crawley, Rafter (Curran 68); Patterson.
Referee: P Tuite (Dublin).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved