Derry City 2 Cork City 0
DERRY City have defeated Cork City for the first time in since March 2016, in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium last night.
That was 12 matches ago between the sides and here the Candystripes made hard work of their victory having totally dominated the first half.
But Cork enjoyed a much better second half display before losing midfield talisman, Conor McCormack, who was sent off having been booked twice within several minutes.
Derry also could afford to have missed a penalty, before netting a killer second goal as the game entered the 90th minute.
That said, it was clear that John Caulfield's men are clearly in transition having lost so many regular first team members and while they did struggle in the vital areas, Derry failed to take full advantage.
Man of the match, Barry McNamee, certainly turned it on against his former club having given a five star performance in the middle of the park.
A break by Jamie McDonagh after eight minutes saw Junior throw himself into an acrobatic bicycle kick but he failed to make contact with the ball inside the six yards box and Cork cleared the danger.
Ten minutes later a Barry McNamee free sailed high over the crossbar as the home side pushed to break the deadlock.
And deadlock was broken in the 21st minute after Conor McCormack brought former team-mate, McNamee crashing down to earth.
From 25 yards, McDonagh floated the free into the danger area and with the Cork rearguard failing to react, Derry centre-back, Eoin Toal stretched out a long leg to force the ball home from close range.
Derry began to dominate the opening period and they finished the half very much on the front foot.
They threatened to double their lead following another set-piece situation.
McNamee floated over a corner which found the head of Patrick McClean but he directed his effort straight at McNulty when he should have done better.
In a rare attack, Cork right winger Daire O'Connor turned inside a Derry defender but he dragged his low shot from 20 yards wide of the target.
Four minutes before the break Junior picked the pockets of Conor McCarthy and when the Derry midfielder played the ball into the path of Ciaron Harkin, his shot lacked power and direction and McNulty saved with ease.
A rare James Tilly corner brought the first half to an end, his cross causing chaos inside the 18 yards box before the ball was hacked to safety.
Following the change of ends, Cork changed their formation bringing on striker Daniel Smith at the expense of O'Connor and pushing Karl Sheppard into the front-line, with Rainsford moving to the left flank.
In fact, the visitors then stunned Derry with their first serious shot on target in the 59th minute.
Garry Buckley intercepted a McNamee pass and raced 40 yards on the break before unleashing a superb shot which was turned around the post by keeper, Peter Cherrie.
That effort woke Derry up following their spell in the dressing room and McDonagh drove another free kick into the hands of McNulty on the hour as the home side attempted to double their advantage and put the game to bed.
And Toal could and should have doubled his tally but he failed to get onto the end of McNamee's free in the 65th minute when on the edge of the six yards box.
Cork, to their credit, never gave up the ghost and another corner, this time delivered by Rainsford Derry's Patrick McClean managed to sweep the ball off his goal-line, the attendance of 2,500 breathing a sigh of relief.
Derry bounced back when a Darren Cole shot brought the best out of McNulty, the Cork keeper parrying the effort wide at the expense of a corner in the 75th minute.
Three minutes later, former Derry favourite, Conor McCormack brought McNamee down inside the area and having been booked minutes early, was sent off by referee, Rob Harvey.
Derry, however, failed to take advantage when McDonagh's spotkick was superbly saved by McNulty.
Almost immediately, Cork broke on the counter-attack and Tilley brought the best out of Cherrie with a powerful drive.
But the home side had the final say as the game entered the final minutes. Junior missed a superb chance to put the game to bed before the lively McDonagh was set up by Harkin and his low shot from the end of the area beat the overworked McNulty.
The win sees Derry move 12 points clear of Cork.
DERRY CITY: Cherrie; Cole, Toal, McClean, Coll; Harkin, Sloggett; McDonagh, McNamee, Junior; Parkhouse (Stokes, (90).
CORK CITY: McNulty; McCarthy, Casey, McLoughlin, Griffin; McCormack, Buckley; O'Connor (Smith, h/t), Tilley, Sheppard (Crowley, 80); Rainsford.
Referee: R. Harvey (Dublin)