Cork City 1 Finn Harps 1
CORK City’s winless run stretched to eight game as a 76th-minute equaliser from Finn Harps captain Keith Cowan earned the visitors a point at Turner’s Cross on Monday night.
Having gone three games without a goal, City ended that stretch thanks to Kevin O’Connor’s free kick early in the second half but they were unable to extend the lead and Harps’ push for an equaliser was eventually rewarded.
City had four changes from the side which lost to Derry City on Friday night. With Dan Casey and Conor McCormack suspended, Colm Horgan came back from injury while Kevin O’Connor was restored to the team too, with Pierce Phillips given his first league start of the start and Graham Cummins back in attack as Dáire O’Connor and Darragh Rainsford dropped to the bench.
Harps had almost beaten Sligo Rovers on Friday but were without a win and City began with purpose, Karl Sheppard going close on six minutes, shooting wide following a good Cummins flick-on.
Five minutes later, the roles were reversed from a Horgan cross, with Cummins heading just wide at the back post, but it wasn’t all one-way traffic as Harps’ Mark Russell whipped in a free kick from the right which landed on the net while Seán Boyd headed stragith at Mark McNulty.
Sheppard and Cummins continued to link well up front for City and ten minutes before half-time, Harps goalkeeper Peter Burke had to save well when Cummins met his partner’s cross. Soon after that, good work from Shane Griffin on the left saw him deliver for Kevin O’Connor, whose header was saved well by Burke, Sheppard firing the rebound over the bar.
Harps attacker Caolán McAleer had the last chance of the half, curling a shot over from outside the area, but City had the lead within four minutes of the restart. When Burke came off his line and was unable to clear, Cummins was fouled as he attempted to catch the goalkeeper off his line. O’Connor stepped up and curled in a fine effort to Burke’s left from 25 yards.
However, the goal didn’t signal an opening of the floodgates for City and Harps responded well. On 58 minutes, they won a free kick on the left and McAleer’s delivery found Niall Logue, his header saved by McNulty. Then, just before the midway point in the half, a good cross from the right by Michael Gallagher fell for Jacob Borg at the back post but his header came back off the post.
Immediately after that, a Sheppard shot from a tight angle at the other end also hit the post, deflecting out for a corner, but Harps continued to press and when a corner wasn’t cleared, sub Tony McNamee sent the ball back towards the six-yard box, where captain Keith Cowan was able to fire past McNulty.
City sought to find a winner, but the efforts were in vain, Conor McCarthy going closest.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Horgan (Bennett 75), McCarthy, McLoughlin, Griffin; Phillips (Rainsford 79), K O’Connor (D O’Connor 69), Buckley, Tilley; Cummins, Sheppard.
FINN HARPS: Burke; Todd, Cowan, Logue; Gallagher, Coyle, Borg (McNamee 73), Russell; McAleer (Cretaro 73), Boyle (Ascroft 89); Boyd.
Referee: R Hennessy (Limerick).