Cork City 3 Waterford FC 0
Two goals in three second-half minutes from Graham Cummins and Kieran Sadlier saw Cork City maintain their perfect home record and show the true mark of champions as they defeated an unlucky Waterford in last night’s entertaining Munster derby at Turner’s Cross.
Despite being outplayed for much of the first half, John Caulfield’s side still went in for the break a goal to the good and then showed just how clinical they can be as they wrapped up the win in some style, and avenged April’s defeat to the same side at the RSC to remain hot on the heels of leaders Dundalk.
There was to be no repeat of the mayhem which tarnished the end of the game at the RSC when Waterford came from a goal down to defeat City and four players and the two managers were red-carded. But the game didn’t lack needle with both sides battling for every ball and referee Rob Rogers having a good game without brandishing many cards.
With Waterford boss Alan Reynolds recuperating after a vicious assault in Tramore last weekend left him with a horrific injuries, his side were eager to put one over their Munster rivals and somewhat improve their manager’s week.
Coach and former Waterford and Cobh Ramblers player Paul Cashin took over the hot seat from Reynolds last night as he was thrown in at the deep end with his side looking to become the first team to take points off City at Turner’s Cross this season.
Cashin was without the suspended Stanley Aborah, and with Sander Puri away on International duty with Estonia, John Martin came into the side in what was the only change to the side that hammered Derry City 4-0 at The RSC last week.
The champions had Barry McNamee back in the side in place of Karl Sheppard as Caulfield made one change to the side that had an impressive 3-1 against St Patrick’s Athletic last time out.
The visitors started brightly and Bastien Hery split the City defence in two with a superb pass to Izzy Akinade early on but Mark McNulty came to his side’s rescue as he stopped Akinade’s effort with his legs.
After his double last week, including the wonder goal from the edge of his own box, Kieran Sadlier was full of confidence and he tried his luck from fully 30 yards in the 13th minute but Lawrence Vigouroux was equal to it as he tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.
Akinade has proven a handful on a number of occasions for the City defence in his Bohs days, and the combative striker was no different last night, relishing the physical battle with Alan Bennett and Sean McLoughlin early on.
City were outplayed for most of the opening half hour and David Webster had a good chance from Faysel Kasmi’s corner kick but couldn’t direct his free header on target midway through the half.
Caulfield’s side were struggling to get a foothold in the midfield area with Kasmi and Hery dictating things. However, McNamee almost broke the deadlock in the 27th minute but his right-footed effort from just outside the box came back off the post with Vigouroux beaten all ends up.
Cummins then tested Vigouroux from long range as City began to up the pace as the half wore on.
Webster was then booked by referee Rob Harvey after scything down Garry Buckley in first-half stoppage time.
And from the resultant free-kick, it was Buckley who side-footed home albeit with the help of a deflection, after McNamee’s long free-kick wasn’t properly cleared.
It was harsh on the visitors going in for the break a goal behind but again showed why City are champions as Caulfield’s side eked out a goal while not at their best.
John Martin had an effort saved by McNulty after the break as the Blues looked for a way back into the game. But the home side looked a lot more comfortable after re-emerging for the second half, and Vigouroux was forced to push Sadlier’s long-range free-kick over his crossbar as City looked for a second goal which would surely put the game out of Waterford’s reach.
The second goal did arrive 14 minutes from time when substitute Karl Sheppard picked out Cummins, who arrived to power a header past Vigouroux.
And man of the moment Sadlier put the icing on the cake when Cummins headed Sheppard’s cross back to the City number 11 who made no mistake blasting the ball past Vigouroux.
Sheppard nearly got the goal his cameo appearance deserved but was unlucky to hit the post just before the end.
CORK CITY: McNulty, Horgan, Bennett, McLaughlin, Griffin, McNamee (Sheppard 65), Keohane, McCormack (Beattie 79), Buckley, Sadlier, Cummins (O’Hanlon 82).
WATERFORD: Vigouroux, Feely, Browne, Webster, Barnett, Hery, Holohan, Kasmi (Dean Walsh 78), Martin, Duffus, Akinade.
Referee: Robert Harvey (Dublin)
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