Cork City produced a stunning late comeback to defeat Derry City in their SSE Airtricity league clash at Turners Cross on Friday night.
Late goals from substitute Danny Morrissey and defender Kenny Browne was enough to snatch the three points for Cork at the expense of a resilient Derry side, who had led thanks to Niclas Vemmelund.
Both sides settled into the game slowly and it wasn’t until after 14 minutes that ether side mustered an opportunity of note on goal.
And it ought to have yielded the opening goal of the game but after Cork striker Sean Maguire played Karl Sheppard’s neat flick on into Gavan Holohan’s path, the midfielder scuffed the opening wide of the left post from the edge of the penalty area.
Both sides toiled in the Turners Cross sunshine and it wasn’t until late in the first half that either side actually had an attempt on target and it fell to Niclas Vemmelund but his curling effort from close range was acrobatically tipped around the post by Mark McNulty.
The game sparked into life early in the second half as Vemmelund this time found a way past Cork’s shot stopper Mark McNulty to grab his first goal for Derry to gift them the lead.
Barry McNamee’s in-swinging corner from the right found Vemmelund unmarked in the penalty area and he made no mistake, tucking the ball home from a few yards to stun the home crowd.
Cork City, looking to avoid a third defeat to Derry already this season having last the reverse league fixture in March and the E.A Sports Cup Quarter final at the beginning of May, responded well and it took a last gasp Ryan McBride tackle to stop Sean Maguire from levelling matters.
Maguire went close again as the second half wore on but his clever header from Kevin O’Connor’s pin point cross just dropped the wrong side of the far, left hand post.
But after 84 minutes, the pressure finally told on Kenny Shiels’ men as substitute Danny Morrissey stooped low to head Greg Bolger’s excellent free kick into the bottom left corner of the net.
And in stoppage time, Cork completed the dramatic comeback in style as Kenny Browne towered his header past Gary Doherty in the visiting goal from close range to break Derry hearts and help Cork to remain in touching distance of Dundalk at the top of the league.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy, Kenny Browne, Alan Bennett, Kevin O’Connor; Greg Bolger, Gavan Holohan (Mark O’Sullivan 70); Steven Beattie (Danny Morrissey 62), Gary Buckley, Karl Sheppard; Sean Maguire.
Subs not used: Alan Smith (gk), Ian Turner, Michael McSweeney, Stephen Dooley, Colin Healy.
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Niclas Vemmelund, Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Keith Ward (Conor McDermott 78),Conor McCormack, Barry McNamee, Aaron McEneff, Ronan Curtis (Joshua Daniels 78); Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Shaun Patton (gk), Jordan Allan, Patrick McClean, Ryan Doherty, Nathan Boyle.
Booked: McCormack (57), Patterson (80), McBride (90+2).
Referee: David McKeon.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Kevin O’Connor (Cork City).