A hat-trick each from Vinny Sullivan and Tadgh Purcell saw Cork City overcome an early scare against Athlone Town to eventually run out emphatic winners in this FAI Ford Cup second round tie at a balmy Turner’s Cross last night.
Athlone shocked the hosts inside four minutes when centre back Brian McCarthy rose highest at the back post to head home Val Feeney’s inswinging corner.
City were terrible in the opening half hour and Athlone had a couple of great chances to increase their lead when first Joe Woods shot straight at Mark McNulty from 12 yards and then Brian Gill missed a sitter from six yards when he sliced wide from another dangerous Feeney free-kick.
The home side’s first chance didn’t come until the 34rd minute when Tadgh Purcell failed to capitalise on Brian McCarthy’s dreadful back pass as he dwindled too long on the ball and the ball was cleared for a corner.
City were back on level terms however from the resultant corner when Vinny Sullivan turned and fired home from 10 yards after Davin O’Neill had headed Gearoid Morrissey’s corner back across goal. And it was 2-1 a minute later when Morrissey crossed and Purcell made up for his earlier error as he side-footed home from inside the box.
Three minutes later and it was 3-0 when Sullivan picked the ball up on the left-hand side of the box before cutting inside Woods and unleashing an unstoppable effort high into Patrick Jennings’ net.
The home side expected more goals in the second half and they weren’t disappointed. Daryl Horgan had a shot cleared off the line by McCarthy eight minutes in before Sullivan completed his hat-trick two minutes later when he had the easy task of tapping into an empty net after being set up by Horgan.
Purcell smashed home a fifth 16 minutes from time before the striker completed his hat-trick late on when he rifled home a penalty he won himself after being brought down by Jennings.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Dunleavy, Kavanagh, Spillane, Murphy; D Horgan (G Buckley 75), G Morrissey (Turner 45), Duggan, O’Neill; Purcell, Sullivan (Kenny 58).
ATHLONE TOWN: Jennings; Woods, McCarthy (Brooks 53), Barrett, Scullion; Hughes, Guerins (Sweeney 45), Rushe (Conroy 70), Gill, Feeney; McGee.
Referee: P Sutton (Clare).
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