League Report: Cork City 0 - 1 Derry City

A strike from Ronan Boyce with fifteen minutes to go proved to be the difference between the sides at Turner's Cross. 

And they might also be the points that secure Derry City's second-place finish in what was a game lacking in quality for long stretches.

But they must feel like they are in a position to go one better next season if they can iron out their inconsistencies.

It was somewhat of a groundhog day for the home side though. They were well in the game that saw two goals disallowed in the first half. They now seem resigned to finishing 9th and the lottery of the play-offs. A result on Saturday night for Sligo will seal their fate.

Both managers elected to make three changes. Richie Holland welcomed back Tiernan Brooks from injury and he replaced Ollie Byrne in goal. Cian Coleman and Cian Bargary also came into the side which appeared to set up in a 4-5-1.

Ruaidhri Higgins also switched up his side from the scoreless draw with Shelbourne last weekend. Ronan Boyce and Brandon Kavanagh started in favour of Shane McEleney and Daniel Mullen both dropped to the bench.

Sadou Diallo was suspended after his red card and Mark Connolly took his place. Jamie McGonigle was only fit enough for the bench.

In tough underground conditions, both sides started slowly. Players from either side were struggling to keep their balance and were unable to create much of note.

The first chance of note arrived after 12 minutes when Ben Worman saw his effort take a deflection off Ben Doherty and go just wide. Josh Honohan then got forward to lash in a cross from the left that was just too high for anyone to make contact with.  

Cian Coleman saw a header saved by Brian Maher before Derry came to life. They won a free kick just outside the area after Brandon Kavanagh was taken down. Will Patching stepped up to take it with an effort that curled over the wall. Brooks was able to get across to tip it away though.

Cork then had their first goal disallowed. Ruairi Keating had been starved of touches in the game tapped home from close range. The linesman put up their flag for offside though.

Barry Coffey and Andreii Kravchuk then had half-chances before another goal was ruled out just before the break. A corner from the left saw a couple of players come together and the ball bundled home. It was ruled out for a push in the build-up.

Derry came closest to either side in the game so far in the opening minute of the second half. Michael Duffy saw a bit of room and advanced before letting fly. His shot hit the left-hand post and Cork managed to get it away.

Maher was then almost caught out by a long throw by Bargary which he did well to recover in time from.

That was as good as it got though as neither side were able to make much headway into the game. The stakes on play were demonstrated both managers made a triple substitution within minutes of one another.

When the goal did come it was a rare moment of quality and from an unlikely source. Ronan Boyce picked up the ball in space just outside the area and the right back lashed his effort into the top corner giving Brooks no chance.

The away side were able to see out the game without ever looking entirely comfortable. Substitute Daniel Mullen had the opportunity to seal the win with a few minutes to go. He was only able to put his header wide when he was unmarked in the box.

Despite six minutes added on, Cork were unable to mount a response.

Derry close off their season next Friday when they face St. Pats at Ryan McBride Brandywell in a game that will see the winner finish second behind Shamrock Rovers.

Cork City will finish off their regular season with a home game against four in a row champions Shamrock Rovers before travelling to play Bohemians who need to win to stand any chance of playing in Europe through the league.

They must then await whoever qualifies from the First Division playoffs to try and preserve their top flight status.

Cork City: Tiernan Brooks; Cian Coleman (Babatunde Owolabi 84), Kevin Čustović (Gordon Walker 69), Jonas Häkkinen, Joshua Honohan; Cian Bargary (Jaze Kabia 69), Aaron Bolger, Barry Coffey (Malik Dijksteel 61), Andrii Kravchuk, Ben Worman (Cian Murphy 69); Ruairí Keating.

Subs not used: John O'Donovan, Oran Crowe, Josh Fitzpatrick, Daniel Moynihan.

Booked: Cian Bargary (39), Aaron Bolger (65), Jaze Kabia (89).


Derry City: Brian Maher; Ronan Boyce, Mark Connolly (Sam Todd 77), Ben Doherty, Cameron McJannet; Michael Duffy (Ciarán Coll 90), Cameron Dummigan, Adam O'Reilly (Jordan McEneff 72), William Patching; Brandon Kavanagh (Patrick McEleney 72), Paul McMullan (Daniel Mullen 72).

Subs not used: Tadhg Ryan, Shane McEleney, Evan McLaughlin, Jamie McGonigle.


Referee: Damien McGrath

Attendance: 1868

extratime.com Player of the Match: Ronan Boyce