Phillip Morrissey reports from Turners Cross
A strong second-half performance from Cork City saw the Leesiders move ahead of Sligo Rovers in the Premier Division table.
The battle to avoid relegation remains to be a close-knit affair with a number of teams now drawn back into it.
A single goal was the only thing to separate the sides at the break, and Sligo would have remained confident of getting a positive result at that point but the Rebels struck twice more in the second half to send their visitors into the play-off spot.
The home side made seven changes from the last gasp win against Longford but three from their last league game.
Deshane Dalling along with two recent recruits, Scott Fenwick and Kit Elliott. Dáire O’ Connor dropped to the bench while Cian Murphy and Cory Glavin failed to recover from injuries. Ricardo Dinanga was on the bench again after his exploits on Tuesday.
Sligo made just the one with new signing Sigitas Olberkis replacing the injured Will Seymore.
And they started well. A slack ball in midfield led to an opportunity at the Shed End. Darragh Noone was found in space and his snapshot from outside the area had to be tipped away by McNulty at full stretch.
A series of set-pieces, one after another, kept the pressure on the home goal. They were looking the more assured in the early stages.
City’s chances were somewhat limited at this point. Deshane Dalling manufactured a chance for himself but the effort was off target. He formed a three-man frontline with Fenwick and Elliott, and it was the latter who was involved in a moment of controversy.
He skipped past his marker and went to ground when a shooting chance had presented itself. The referee adjudged it to be a dive and booked him, much to the annoyance of Neale Fenn.
Sligo almost made them pay at the other end when Ryan De Vries was found inside the area by David Cawley and the resulting effort was ballooned over the bar.
Just when it looked as if the visitors were destined to score, thanks to the mounting pressure, City struck.
Elliott held up the ball and laid it off to Dalling. The loanee from QPR took a touch before slamming the ball into the bottom corner. City’s first league goal since the 28th of February.
Sligo tried to get back into it, but wayward shooting left them down. Both Regan Donelon and Darragh Noone failed to seriously test the home keeper.
Sligo introduced Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe at the break and he almost had an immediate impact. Running at the city backline, he carved open a chance for Noone. His effort went just wide.
Ogedi-Uzokwe was also poised to win a leg race against Uniss Kargbo but was flagged for offside. City were making a better fist of matters though.
Cian Coleman began to exert a level of control in midfield, Ochieng and Kargbo tightened up matters at the back and Dalling was proving a nuisance up front.
Coleman almost made it two, but his header sailed just wide from a free-kick he won after a bursting run.
Ricardo Dinanga made his bow as Fenn aimed to freshen things up. It was Elliott who made amends within minutes though.
He burst into the area and went down again. The referee voted in his favour on this occasion and he stepped up to slot it past McGinity.
Sligo’s play was becoming increasing desperate and ragged as they sought a way back into the game. Constant blocks and last-ditch tackles kept the clean sheet intact. There was an increasing level of conviction in City’s play as they broke away.
Dinanga was at the heart of one such attack as he received from Ochieng before setting up Elliott. His cross skipped across the area but no-one was able to connect with it. Sub Teemu Penninkangas broke free towards the end but Kargbo was equal to him.
It was left to Dinanga to seal the deal on the night. Dalling won the ball before slipping it to the young substitute who showed great composure to place the ball into the bottom corner.
Celebrations for him at the death yet again but you cannot blame them on this occasion. A decent week for the club and a memorable few days for him personally.
City return to action with a trip away to Derry next Friday, while Sligo will try and recover with a home game against Waterford.
Cork City: Mark McNulty ; Uniss Kargbo , Alan Bennett , Joseph Olowu , Rob Slevin ; Cian Coleman , Kevin O'Connor , Henry Ochieng ; Scott Fenwick (Ricardo Dinanga 73) , Kit Elliott (Dylan McGlade 90) , Deshane Dalling .
Subs not used: Charlie Fleming, Graham Cummins, Liam Bossin, Gearóid Morrissey, Daire O'Connor.
Booked: Kit Elliott (13).
Sent off: None.
Sligo Rovers: Edward McGinty ; Regan Donelon (Teemu Penninkangas 73) , Danny Kane , Kyle McFadden , Sigitas Olberkis (Lewis Banks 60) ; David Cawley , Niall Morahan (Ronan Murray 70) , Darragh Noone ; Rónán Coughlan , Ryan De Vries , Jesse Devers (Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe 46) .
Subs not used: Mark Byrne, Luke McNicholas, John Russell.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Robert Harvey
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Uniss Kargbo (Cork City).