Cork City 2 Sligo Rovers 4
NEALE Fenn has made a disappointing start to his time in charge of Cork City as they were beaten 4-2 by Sligo Rovers at Turner’s Cross, as some sloppy defending cost the hosts.
Fenn made five changes to the City side that was dumped out of the FAI Cup in the second round by First Division side Galway United last Friday evening.
The former City striker attempted to make good on his promise to provide entertaining football at the Cross as he named an attacking line up with Daire O’Connor and Karl Sheppard returning to the starting line-up.
They threatened twice in the opening stages but both efforts came from distance, with Eoghan Stokes and Daire O’Connor failing to truly cause the keeper problems.
Sligo responded with long-range attempts of their own but Romeo Parkes and John Mahon sent the ball wide of the target.
The visitors ought to have taken the lead just shy of the quarter of an hour mark but following an incisive move between Kris Twardek and Regan Donelon, defender John Mahon could only send his close-range header over the bar.
The game’s momentum was soon interrupted as referee Robert Harvey was forced to withdraw with an injured and was subsequently replaced by Cork man Anthony Buttimer.
Rovers reacted best to the delay and they took the lead with 31 minutes on the clock as Romeo Parkes skipped past the challenge of Dan Casey before slotting the ball under the advancing Mark McNulty.
This was the fourth meeting between the two sides in the league this season and their last two encounters ended in draws, while City defeated Rovers 2-1 at the Showgrounds back in February.
Sligo’s lead only lasted two minutes as the Leesiders levelled the scores when Dan Casey emphatically planted his header into the net from Shane Griffin’s corner despite the best efforts of the defence on the line.
City’s attacking approach left them vulnerable at the back and just before half-time, they were punished when former striker Ronan Coughlan coolly drilled the ball into the bottom-left corner of the Shed End goal.
Fenn introduced Mark O’Sullivan at the beginning of the second period but his strike partner Eoghan Stokes soon missed to decent opening with his head.
He was punished just past the hour mark as Romeo Parkes grabbed his second and Sligo’s third when he found the roof of the net from a couple of yards.
City continued to pile forward and they were given hope when Shane Griffin found the top-left corner with a stunning strike to reduce the deficit.
But a McNulty error allowed Coughlan to score late on to earn Rovers the three points.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Dan Casey, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack, Garry Buckley; Daire O’Connor, Karl Sheppard, Joel Coustrain; Eoghan Stokes.
Subs: Mark O’Sullivan for Daire O’Connor (53), Josh Honohan for Colm Horgan (76), Alec Byrne for Eoghan Stokes (80).
SLIGO ROVERS: Edward McGinty; Lewis Banks, John Mahon, Kyle McFadden, Regan Donelon; David Cawley, John Russell, Kris Twardek; Daryl Fordyce, Romeo Parkes, Ronan Coughlan.
Subs: Niall Morahan for Regan Donelon (73).
Referee: Robert Harvey.