Derry City 4 Cork City 0
TWO goals in the space of four minutes at the end of the first half saw Derry City move into prime position for a top-three finish and Europa League football next season.
And for Cork City, this will be a performance to forget, new boss, Neale Fenn suffering his fifth defeat during the first six games of his tenure.
Indeed, it was clear from the outset when opting for a flooded midfield, that Cork’s tactics had been based on containment. The home side created the first clear-cut scoring opportunity when a Ciaron Harkin cross from the left saw David Parkhouse head the ball wide.
Five minutes later the lively Derry hitman forced Tadhg Ryan into a top drawer save. In the 25th minute, Parkhouse again threatened.
As the game approached half-time, the home support celebrated when Derry moved firmly into the driving seat.
The Cork defence failed to clear a long throw-in which reached the danger area and when the ball was headed down by a visiting defender Eoghan Toal, swept it home from close range.
And it got even worse for the Leesiders. Central midfielder, Conor McCormack, played a loose pass just outside his penalty area and when Harkin combined with Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe the Colchester United loanee calmly curled the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Ryan.
Forced to abandon their pre-match tactics following the change of ends, Neale Fenn introduced a double substitution within seven minutes with McCormack and Stokes called ashore, replaced by Garry Buckley and Joel Coustrain and the visitors began to threaten.
That said Cork then lost captain, Conor McCarthy in the 60th minute due to a head wound following a collision with Junior. Buckley began to force Derry keeper, Peter Cherrie, into action for the first time, the Derry defence seeing much more of the ball.
While Cork certainly upped the ante after the break, the home side were happy to sit back and hit on the break and Ryan did well to punch a powerful shot from Derry sub, Darren McCready, clear of his goal in 70th minute.
However, four minutes later this game was ended as a contest, another disaster for Cork who conceded an own goal. A header by Junior was parried by Ryan but the rebound cannoned off the body of the unsuspecting full-back, Colm Horgan, from close range, the ball deflected into the net.
A decent shot by Karl Sheppard which screamed over the crossbar and a close range header by sub, Alan Bennett, which was saved by Cherrie, threatened to reduce the deficit late on, but those effort were always considered too little, too late. Derry had the final say when Junior made it 4-0 deep into added time.
DERRY Cherrie; Gillespie (Boyce, 85), Toal, Gilchrist, Coll; Harkin, Sloggett, Malone (McCauley, 58), Ogedi-Uzokwe; McNamee (McCrudden, 78); Parkhouse.
CORK: Ryan; Horgan, O’Brien, McCarthy (Bennett, 61) Griffin; Sheppard, McCormack (Buckley, 53) Morrissey, Byrne, O’Connor; Stokes (Coustrain, 53).
Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).