Daryl Horgan 69' -
A moment of individual quality from Daryl Horgan proved enough to secure all three points for Cork City, as they picked up a crucial victory at the expense of Drogheda United at Turner’s Cross Stadium.
The winger produced a strike of sheer class on 69 minutes to beat Gabriel Sava in the Drogheda goal, and it proved to be enough come the final whistle – a sound that was met with unanimous cries of joy from everyone in the home corner.
The sense of relief was clear at full time, with many of the Cork support having forgotten what a home win felt like. It means that they leapfrog their opponents into seventh place, a great boost for the club going into the mid-season break.
The atmosphere around Turner’s Cross was one of anxiety to begin with – tensions were running high down south due to the team’s recent collapse in form, with many of the Rebel Army even going as far as calling for manager Tommy Dunne’s head.
The game got off to a scrappy start, and ten minutes had passed before either team really had a chance on goal. It went to the visitors – David Cassidy whipped in a cross from the left side, which Cathal Brady, stretching to catch the ball, sent it just wide of the post.
Five minutes later, the home side tested the water, and it was the excellent Danny Morrissey who did so. The youthful striker brought a real enthusiasm to the game, but lacked the ability to finish after being found by Neal Horgan in a clipped ball over the top, and sent his effort well over.
It was a very well contested first half, unsurprisingly given their proximity in their league positions. Just two points separated them going into the game, and it was most certainly evident out on the field of play.
Drogheda looked a well-drilled outfit, and carried a threat in the final third too. They came closest ten minutes before the half-time break through a corner kick. Darren Dennehy got his head on the cross to get it out, but Cathal Brady pounced on the ball before drilling it over the bar.
After the restart, the game went even quieter, with chances well and truly few and far between. One came nine minutes into the second period however, when Gearoid Morrissey clipped the ball toward Danny Furlong in the box. The ball was stuck under his feet however, and was cleared for a corner.
With 69 minutes on the clock came a moment of sheer brilliance from Daryl Horgan.
The winger picked up the ball in a deep position before carrying it forward, shimmying between a number of Drogheda defenders before curling the ball into the top corner of the net from a standing position. Pure class.
They say you’re most vulnerable when you score however, and that old adage nearly came true three minutes later. David Cassidy, a stand out performer for the visitors on the night, whipped in a corner kick which Michael Daly headed narrowly over the bar.
The home outfit were tested several times before the final whistle was blown – with one misplaced header from Gary O’Neill in particular producing a sigh of relief from the home support – by they managed to hold on and secure the vital three points, much to the delight of everyone involved with Cork City Football Club.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Neal Horgan, Dan Murray, Darren Dennehy, Danny Murphy; Gearoid Morrissey, John Dunleavy, Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan; Danny Morrissey (Daryl Kavanagh, 59), Danny Furlong (Garry Buckley, 82)
Subs not used: Ian Turner, Adam Rundle, Kalen Spillane, Stephen Kenny, Kevin Burns.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Shane Grimes, Michael Daly, Alan Byrne, Philip Hand; Gavin Brennan, David Cassidy, Paul O’Conor, Cathal Brady (Ryan Brennan, 62); Declan O’Brien (Peter Hynes, 62), Gary O’Neill.
Subs not used: Evin Farrell, Derek Prendergast, Graham Rusk, Jason Marks, Brian Gannon.
Booked: Cassidy (29).
Referee: James McKell.
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Daryl Horgan (Cork City - for his spectacular goal as well as its undoubted quality. It swung the game in the favour of the hosts.