Cork City 3 Sligo Rovers 0
CORK City got their first league goals – and most importantly, first league win – since February 28 as Sligo Rovers were well beaten at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
After Deshane Dalling marked his return from suspension with a first-half opener, teenage debutant Kit Elliott – on loan from Huddersfield Town – netted a second-half penalty to go with his assist for the first goal. Then, at the death, Ricardo Dinanga, the match-winner in Tuesday’s FAI Cup win over Longford Town, wrapped up the win to send them up to eighth in the table.
Having had a scoreless draw away to Waterford last Saturday, Neale Fenn’s side built on that with a 1-0 against Longford and the progress continued here with what was in the end an impressive performance after Sligo had been on top in the first half-hour.
City had a total of seven changes from Tuesday’s win. New signings Scott Fenwick and Kit Elliott partnered each other up front while Mark McNulty came back in in goal with Alan Bennett, Uniss Kargbo, Rob Slevin and Dalling all returning too. Liam Bossin, Graham Cummins, Cian Bargary, Ronan Hurley, Dylan McGlade, Dáire O’Connor and Ciarn Murphy dropped out.
Sligo came into the game in high spirits, having beaten Derry City and Shelbourne since the restart, and they enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. They were moving the ball well and McNulty was tested as early as the fourth minute, with Ryan De Vries setting up Darragh Noone for a low shot which had to be turned around the post.
Sligo captain David Cawley was central to their play but he should have done better with an effort which he sent well over and then at the other end Elliott looked to have been fouled for a penalty but referee Robert Harvey booked the teenage attacker for diving.
Otherwise, Sligo continued to have the better territory and on 18 Jesse Devers wasted a good opportunity as former City man Ronan Coughlan and Cawley combined to find him in the area but he couldn’t find the target. Soon after that, a long-range Cawley effort was down McNulty’s throat.
Just after the half-hour, Noone did well to capitalise on poor City defensive play and drove forward before finding Devers, but again he was unable to take advantage. And, then, 11 minutes before half-time, City scored.
Elliott was heavily involved as it was his pass to Dalling in space allowed him to set himself and, with no challenge coming, he sent a low 20-yard shot past Ed McGinty in the Sligo goal.
There was almost a second for City shortly before half-time as Dalling set up Slevin in the area and his shot was goal-bound but Regan Donelon made a great block. Donelon did go close for Sligo with the last action of the half but McNulty saved his free kick.
For the second half, Sligo brought on attacker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe – who scored a hat-trick at the Cross for Derry City last season – and Noone went close for them in the first minute after the restart, but otherwise City dictated the flow of the game.
A good flick-on by Fenwick almost put Elliott in and it needed good defending by Kyle McFadden to avert the danger, while just before the hour a Kevin O’Connor free kick from deep was met by Cian Coleman as he rose highest but he couldn’t divert the ball goalwards.
After Ogedi-Uzokwe was almost played in by De Vries – he was just offside – Elliott had an effort saved but, on 77, he was able to make it 2-0.
A low O’Connor cross found him in the area and this time Cawley’s tackle which brought him down was illegal, allowing him to slot past McGinty from the penalty spot.
Sligo pressed after that and Cawley had a low shot from distance which was saved while Uniss Kargbo made a great challenge to deny Sligo sub Teemu Penninkangas before Dinanga wrapped things up with a left-footed finish.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Olowu, Bennett, K O’Connor; Kargbo, Coleman, Ochieng, Slevin; Dalling; Elliott (McGlade 90), Fenwick (Dinanga 74).
SLIGO ROVERS: McGinty; Kane, Olberkis (Banks 61), McFadden, Donelon (Penninkangas 75); Noone, Morahan (Murray), Cawley; Devers (Ogedi-Uzokwe half-time), Coughlan, De Vries.
Referee: R Harvey (Dublin).