St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Cork City 1
SIMON Madden’s 95th-minute equaliser denied Cork City victory at Richmond Park last night.
Karl Sheppard’s goal looked to have earned City a fourth win under interim manager John Cotter as the allotted three minutes of injury time passed, but referee Ben Connolly allowed play to continue and Madden got on the end of a low cross to earn his side a point.
From the previous league game, the 2-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght last Friday, City had just one change, with Shane Griffin coming in for Dáire O’Connor. However, just 11 minutes in, Griffin was forced off injured with O’Connor coming in for him.
Overall though, it was a patch first-half display from City, who struggled to gain a foothold in the Pat’s half. Against that, they weren’t being completely overrun by Pat’s, but the home side did have the better of the possession and the chances.
City were able to keep them at bay but on 22 minutes, Pat’s defender David Webster made an interception high up the field and produced a good cross, but Mikey Drennan was just unable to reach the ball.
After that, City threatened a little bit. Dáire O’Connor curled a low shot wide after good interplay with Sheppard, while just after that a through ball from Conor McCormack gave Sheppard a sight of goal but Brendan Clarke saved and Webster cleared.
That was after 36 minutes but from there to the break it was Pat’s asking the questions. A Simon Madden cross found sub Jake Walker but man of the match Conor McCarthy was able to clear and then Kevin O’Connor got a block on another Walker effort at the expense of a corner.
When that delivery was met by Kevin Toner, Mark McNulty had to save and Pat’s felt they had a penalty shout as Drennan went down under McCarthy’s challenge but referee Ben Connolly wasn’t entertaining the appeals.
Toner had a long-range effort which whistled over just before the end of the half, but City were a changed side after the resumption. They played with more purpose and vigour, taking the game to Pat’s, and they were rewarded with chances.
James Tilley went close twice in quick succession, just wide from Kevin O’Connor’s cross and then curling an effort off-target following a nice link-up with Horgan, but the goal came on 54.
When Colm Horgan played a searching ball down the line for Garry Buckley, he produced a low cross which allowed Sheppard to sidefoot home from close range.
Pat’s did almost equalise as McNulty had to save well from Ciarán Kelly’s header following a corner, but City retained the momentum.
On the hour, Buckley’s pass put Kevin O’Connor in and he forced a save from Clarke while Sheppard’s cross was met by Dáire O’Connor but he couldn’t find the target.
Pat’s had equalised late in the game at Turner’s Cross in April and they pushed in the final half-hour. It looked as if their efforts hadn’t been enough to shake City, but they persisted and got their reward when Madden found the net.
With the scheduled game against Waterford tomorrow week having been postponed, City now have two weeks to prepare for their trip to face Sligo Rovers on June 14, followed by the mid-summer break.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Webster, Kelly, Toner; Madden, Coleman, Markey (Doona 77), Forrester (Lennon 70), Bermingham; Shaw (Walker 31), Drennan.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Horgan, McCarthy, McLoughlin, K O’Connor; McCormack, Morrissey; Tilley (Bargary 90), Buckley, Griffin (D O’Connor 11); Sheppard.
Referee: B Connolly (Dublin).