Derry City 3 Cork City 1
THE Rebel Army's recent march was brought to a halt at the Brandywell last night, Neale Fenn's troops conceding two goals in as many minutes during the early stages of the second half.
And the result will prove particularly disappointing for Cork who actually led their hosts with an early strike but failed to build on that advantage.
This result sees Cork remain in the low reaches of the Premier Division table with Derry climbing up to fourth spot.
Having travelled 300 miles to play this fixture, the Leesiders returned home immediately after the final whistle, a journey which will have taken its toll on the playing staff who now prepare for two trips to Dublin over a period of five days.
Boasting a more or less fully fit squad, Fenn introduced his latest signing, Connor Simpson, on loan from Preston North End, and the tall striker played his part in the opening goal.
In fact, Derry were caught cold after just three minutes and, not for the first time, the Candystripes failed to defend a set-piece situation.
The visitotrs won-a corner on the right flank when Rob Slevin was upended. Kevin O'Connor floated the ball into the danger area and as debutant Simpson, challenged Derry keeper Peter Cherrie who failed to make contact and the well placed Joseph Olowu poked the loose ball home from close range.
The goal stung the home side into action and while Walter Figueira failed to get his head to a cross from Colm Horgan, Derry went so close to levelling matters in the 14th minute.
Following a flowing move from defence, Adam Hammill fed the ball into the path of Ibrahim Meite, the striker nutmegged Cork captain, Alan Bennett but his shot across the face of goal crashed off the upright and the visitors survived.
Derry continued to push forward with full-back, Ciaran Coll having two shots on goal blocked by Cork defenders when well placed.
Cork lost the service of their goalscorer, Olowu after 33 minutes, the central defender appearing to have sustained a hamstring injury with Ronan Hurley called into the action from the bench.
Content to sit back and, at the same time control the pace of the game, Cork regularly frustrated their hosts when mopping the danger up in the final third of the pitch as the home lot enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the opening period.
However, one minute from the break, Derry were denied again when Mark McNulty pulled off a superb full-length diving save when turning Figueira's curling effort around his post.
Derry continued to apply the pressure following the change of ends and a threatening low cross into the danger area by Coll saw Slevin make a timely block and a golden chance was lost. However, in the 50th minute, another cross by the Derry left-back reaped rewards.
Coll floated the ball deep into the back post and when McNulty fumbled, Figueira's shot was deflected into the net by a defender.
And two minutes later Derry netted a second strike which saw Cork heads drop.
Former City midfielder, Conor McCormack burst into the Cork half before feeding Meite and when the striker's effort was blocked, the ball rebounded into the path of Adam Hammill who gleefully drove it home from six yards.
Derry substitute Stephen Mallon went close to ending this game as a contest when he thundered a shot off the Cork upright in the 83rd minute when set-up by James Akintunde.
And as the game drew to a close Simpson got his head to a cross from the right forcing Cherrie into a vital save, the Derry keeper diving low to scramble the ball clear.
Cork were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Derry penalty area during injury time but O'Connor failed to hit the target with his strike.
Seconds later City keeper, McNulty, pulled off a superb stop with an outstretched foot to deflect Akintunde's shot wide of his goal.
Dylan McGlade tried a low shot from distance during injury time before Akintunde stroked the ball home to secure the points.
DERRY: Cherrie; Horgan, Toal, Cole, Coll; McCormack, Thomson (Harkin, 82); Figueira (Mallon, 75), Malone, Hammill (Akintunde, 66); Meite (Dunwoody, 66).
CORK CITY: McNulty; Olowu (Hurley, 33), Bennett, O'Connor; Fleming, Coleman, Ochieng (McGlade, 84), Slevin (Morrissey, 60); Simpson, Dalling, Fenwick (Dinanga, 60).
Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan).