A resilient young UCD side lifted themselves off the bottom of the Premier Division table with a well-deserved victory over a dreadfully out of sorts Cork City at the Belfield Bowl last night.
The Students, now with two wins in a row, had an early chance when Dean Clarke squared a ball from the right only for Paul O’Conor to fire over the bar from 25 yards.
Straight up the other end, Cork went close when striker Keigan Parker had a shot blocked for a corner by David O’Connor.
But it was the Students who took the lead on nine minutes when David Mc Millan effort rebounded off the upright to be cleared by the Cork defence at the expense of a corner.
Defender Ciaran Nangle’s resulting corner on the right was then powerfully headed home by unmarked skipper Mick Leahy from close range past keeper Mark McNulty with the City defence all at sea.
Cork showed their resolve and determination and were back level on 21 minutes when Parker fired home from 25 yards after substitute Keith Quinn had created the opening on the left. Keeper Mark McGinley had no chance.
O’Conor went close to restoring College’s lead when picking up a loose ball in midfield and letting fly from 25 yards only for McNulty to go full length and push the ball round the post. Then Robbie Benson had a header taken off the line by Cork skipper Dan Murray.
That pressure on the visitors’ goal eventually told on the 32nd minute when an O’Connor corner on the left caused chaos in the Cork goalmouth, Andy O’Connell having the misfortune to chest the ball into his own net after a slip-up by McNulty.
Early in the second-half, David McMillan had a 10 yard effort deflected over the bar for a corner as College continued to apply all the pressure on an oft unsure Cork defence. College made the points safe with a third goal on 69 minutes when McMillan supplied a perfect ball through the middle for Benson to rifle the ball home from 16 yards past McNulty.
Substitute Daniel Ledwith was narrowly off target with a long range free as the young UCD side dominated the closing stages in what became a one sided encounter. Ledwith again went close at the death when running on to a pass from fellow sub Gary Burke only to shoot narrowly wide when a goal looked on the cards.
UCD:McGinley, Douglas, Leahy, D.O’Connor, Nangle; McCabe (Ledwith 66), O’Conor, Benson, Russell (Burke 83); McMillan, Clarke.
CORK CITY:McNulty; Dunleavy (Quinn 20), Murray, Spillane, Murphy; Turner, Duggan, Morrissey, Horgan; O’Connell (O’Neill 55), Parker (Sullivan 70).
Referee: Rob Rogers (Dublin).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved