Bohemians 3-1 Cork City
- Graeme McQueen
- Fri, Nov 14 2008
There will be no European football for Cork City next season after they were trounced 3-1 by rampant Premier Division champions Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday night.
A first-half wonder strike from midfielder Glenn Cronin set the Gypsies on their way after 15 minutes before Killian Brennan added a second just after the half hour. Mindaugas Kalonas added a third on the stroke of half time in what could be his last appearance at Dalymount Park. Danny Murphy pulled a goal back for City from the penalty spot on 89 minutes, but it was too little too late for Alan Matthew’s men.
Cork needed to win or to better Sligo Rovers’ result against Bray Wanderers to secure fourth spot in the league and with it a place in Europe next season. However, with Sligo winning and Cork losing, it is they who will be digging out their passports come next July.
The Bohs’ players on the other hand, having wrapped up the league title back in early October, were looking to stake their claim for a starting slot in next weekend’s Ford FAI Cup final against Derry City. The win – their 27th in 33 league games – means that Bohs finish the season on a record 85 points – 19 ahead of nearest challengers St Patrick’s Athletic.
With the cup final in mind, Bohs’ manager Pat Fenlon rung the changes with Kalonas and Glen Crowe paired in attack in place of Jason Byrne and Neale Fenn,who both dropped to the bench. Also named among the substitutes was Conor Powell, who made way for Mark Rossiter at left back. Cork made just one change from the side which drew with Sligo in their last outing with Cillian Lordan replacing Dudfield. Joe Gamble was suspended, while Colin Healy remained sidelined with an ankle injury.
Following a low-key opening, Bohs snatched the lead on 15 minutes in quite stunning fashion. Gary Deegan’s cross from the left was only half-cleared by the Cork defence and the ball broke to Cronin who let fly from all of 20 yards with a powerful, dipping left foot shot which thundered straight into the postage stamp corner.
Cork almost got themselves back on level terms just three minutes later when a Danny Murphy free-kick looked destined for the bottom corner, but Brian Murphy got down impressively to tip the ball away. Long shots were proving to be the story of the opening half and Brennan, so often Bohs’ hero from dead balls this season, fired a free-kick narrowly over after 20 minutes.
Despite Bohs having nothing to play for and Cork needing the victory, it was the home side who continued to look the more likely to score. An unmarked Glen Crowe should have doubled Bohs’ advantage on the half hour but he headed Kalonas’s cross wide from a mere 12-yards. The Gypsies weren’t to be denied for too much longer, however, with Brennan marauding through a static Cork defence to slot the ball past Mark McNulty from seven yards for his eleventh league goal of the season.
Any lingering hopes Cork had of staging a comeback were all but ended on the stroke of half time when Kalonas broke the offside trap and latched on to Owen Heary’s inch perfect through ball. The Lithuanian international, who was this week linked with a lucrative January move to Sevilla, looked up to see McNulty had rushed off his line and with the outside of his right foot he coolly flicked the ball around the stranded goalkeeper from 30-yards, into an empty net.
The one way traffic continued immediately after the interval with Liam Burns twice going close in the opening minutes of the second period. And, despite the pace of the game slowing dramatically as the half wore on, Bohs continued to dominate possession. However, substitute Lawrie Dudfield should have pulled a goal back for City on 85 minutes but he dragged his close range shot wide with just Brian Murphy to beat.
Owen Heary then passed up a late opportunity to add a fourth for Bohs when he glanced Brian McGill’s header narrowly wide, before Cork nicked a late consolation from the penalty spot through Danny Murphy after Rossiter was adjudged to have handled inside the area.
Bohemians: Brian Murphy; Owen Heary, Liam Burns, Ken Oman (Thomas Heary, 73), Mark Rossiter; Brendan McGill, Glenn Cronin, Gary Deegan, Killian Brennan; Glen Crowe (Jason Byrne, 65), Mindaugas Kalonas (Neale Fenn, 70).
Subs Not Used: Chris Konopka, Conor Powell.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Pat Sullivan, Danny Murphy; Alan O’Connor (Timmy Kiely, 38), Darren Murphy, Cillian Lordan (Lawrie Dudfield, 46), Darragh Ryan; Denis Behan (Gareth Cambridge, 65), Liam Kearney.
Subs Not Used: Michael Devine, Sean Kelly.
Referee: Damien Hancock
Attendance: 1,800 (estimate).
Extratime Man of the Match: Killian Brennan (Bohemians).
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