League Report: Derry City 3 - 1 Cork City

Fri, Aug 21 2020

Derry City earned their first win since the resumption of the league with a three-one victory over Cork City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell this evening. 

The Candystripes’ manager Declan Devine, having earlier this week extended his spell at the helm until October 2021, made three changes from the eleven that started the 1-1 draw away to Shelbourne last week. 

Jack Malone, Adam Hammill and former Cork City midfielder Conor McCormack were drafted in to replace Gerardo Bruna, Ciaron Harkin and Stephen Mallon.

Cork City boss Neale Fenn, meanwhile, retained nine of those who started last Friday night’s 3-0 win at home to Sligo, replacing Uniss Kargbo and Kit Elliott with Charlie Fleming and new striker Connor Simpson.

The home side suffered a setback three minutes in when Joseph Olowu capitalised to crash home after goalkeeper Peter Cherrie failed to take what looked like a straightforward ball from Kevin O’Connor’s long free-kick. 

With the impressive Adam Hammill prompting from a withdrawn position, the home side had a string of presentable chances. 

Malone had a good effort from distance parried by Mark McNulty in the City goal after eight minutes, but the pick of the opportunities fell to Ibrahim Meite on fourteen minutes after Hammill had slipped him through. 

Meite’s nutmeg took out Alan Bennett but his shot from the edge of the box clipped the outside of McNulty’s post on the way wide.

Derry continued to have the lion’s share of possession but the away side held them at arm’s length until half-time. 

However Fenn’s men suffered a blow after thirty-four minutes as their goalscorer Olowu suffered what looked like a hamstring injury and was withdrawn from the fray, to be replaced by Ronan Hurley. 

Fenn would have welcomed the interval as an opportunity to reset, but whatever instructions he had issued were torn up after a calamitous opening spell of the second half for the visitors. 

A harmless-looking high ball from the home side’s left wing in the 49th minute should have been simple for McNulty to gather on the left edge of his own six-yard box, but he couldn’t claim.

As the ‘keeper scrambled back towards his goal, Malone squared the ball for Figueira. The Derry winger’s effort was somewhat mishit, but McNulty and O’Connor got in each others’ way and the ball squirmed over the line. 

Worse was to come for the shell-shocked visitors just a minute later. Meite ran at the Cork defence down the right-hand channel and although McNulty saved his weak effort, Hammill was on hand to tap home the loose ball. 

Fenn soon switched to a flat back four and introduced Gearóid Morrissey, Ricardo Dinanga and Dylan McGlade. 

However Devine’s introductions of James Akintunde and Stephen Mallon were to prove more telling, as Derry kept their foot on their visitors’ throats. 

Cork City were nevertheless provided with a glimmer of hope on sixty-five minutes, as Simpson’s header from a free-kick put Cherrie in all kinds of trouble; the Scot needed three attempts to gather as both the crossbar and post got in his way. 

Simpson again threatened late on but his header from Flemming’s cross produced a fine save from Cherrie low to his right. 

In between, Derry held the ball well and Mallon could have sealed it with seven minutes left, but his shot from a narrow angle on the left cannoned off the woodwork and away to safety. 

As time ran out, Cork committed more men forward and were punished on the break. They had a narrow escape when the lively Malone sent Akintunde clear in the fourth of five minutes of injury time; McNulty saved with his legs and although Ciaran Coll bundled home after the rebound had looped skyward, he was adjudged to have been offside. 

There was no such luck for the visitors a minute later as Mallon picked up a weak O’Connor clearance forty yards out and drove into the box. O’Connor recovered to block his path but the ball broke to Akintunde. 

His pivot wrong-footed Cian Coleman and McNulty was well-beaten by the substitute’s powerful shot into the bottom left-hand corner with the last kick of the game.

Derry climb to fourth on goals scored above St. Pat’s and will be boosted ahead of their scheduled European tie against FK Riteriai in Lithuania next week, while Cork stay in ninth and will seek to regroup ahead of their next league fixture away to Shelbourne on September 5th. 

Before that, however, they face a daunting trip to Tallaght on Monday week to face Shamrock Rovers in the second round of the FAI Cup. 

 

Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Darren Cole, Ciaran Coll, Colm Horgan, Eoin Toal; Jack Malone, Joe Thomson (Ciaron Harkin 82); Walter Figueira (Stephen Mallon 76), Adam Hammill (Jake Dunwoody 66), Ibrahim Meite (James Akintunde 66).

Subs not used: Conor Clifford, Nathan Gartside, Mark McChrystal.

Booked: Joe Thomson (71).

Sent off: None. 

 

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Joseph Olowu (Ronan Hurley 34), Kevin O'Connor, Charlie Fleming; Rob Slevin (Gearóid Morrissey 60), Henry Ochieng (Dylan McGlade 84), Deshane Dalling, Cian Coleman; Connor Simpson, Scott Fenwick (Ricardo Dinanga 60).

Subs not used: Daire O'Connor, Cian Murphy, Ricardo Dinanga, Liam Bossin.

Booked: Henry Ochieng (37).

Sent off: None. 


 

Referee: Paul McLoughlin

Attendance: 0. 

ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Jack Malone (Derry City).