Cork City 4
JAMES Tilley marked his competitive debut with a pair of second-half goals as Cork City booked their place in the semi-finals of the Munster Senior Cup yesterday.
While the final winning margin of this quarter-final at Carrig Park in Fermoy looks comfortable for City, they were made to work for this, with victory not secured until Dáire O’Connor made it 3-1 on 88 minutes and Tilley nabbed his second in injury time.
Fermoy deserve a lot of credit for the way in which they refused to be overawed by their visitors, with Gavin Quirke equalising for them in the 49th minute after Karl Sheppard’s goal shortly before half-time had left City with an interval lead.
Unfortunately for the home side, they didn’t have any real opportunity to move in front and City were ahead again when Tilley headed home Sheppard’s cross on the hour. The attacker, signed on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion initially until the end of June, benefited from pushing forward more in the second half while City also made created more, allowing them to eventually make sure of their last-four spot.
With City continuing to use a back three, diagonal balls over the high Fermoy line were the primary mode of attack in the first half, with Colm Horgan and Shane Griffin on the flanks both getting forward well.
Fermoy did have the first chance, with captain Kevin Dolan’s shot from distance not far over following Quirke’s lay-off, but by and large City dominated the play. On more than one occasion, home goalkeeper Liam Coleman was to come to the rescue, denying Sheppard following a Griffin ball over the top while Tilley was denied following a corner.
Coleman saved brilliantly on 25 when Gearóid Morrissey perfectly met a volley and then Adam Ronan had to block Garry Buckley’s effort. However, the pressure told five minutes before half-time as Morrissey sprayed the ball to Darragh Rainsford on the left and his cross was met by Sheppard, with the ball sent to the bottom-right corner of the net.
Sheppard went close again in injury time and Rainsford nearly got in from the second-half kick-off but he was crowded out by the defence. Fermoy made the most of those let-offs as David Clancy’s free kick was saved by Mark McNulty, with Darragh Scott and Quirke chasing in the rebound, Quirke managing to get the ball over the line.
However, City didn’t panic and had the lead again on 60. Colm Horgan played a good ball down the right to Sheppard and, after he worked his way in, his left-footed crossed was cushioned to the net by Tilley.
Rainsford and sub Graham Cummins had efforts off-target and another sub, City captain Conor McCarthy, saw his long-range effort shave the top of the crossbar. While the lead was only one goal, City didn’t look like allowing a second equaliser and they eventually killed off the Fermoy hopes.
The third goal arrived as Cummins latched on to a misplaced pass and squared for fellow sub O’Connor, who had an easy finish. The fourth came at the death when Tilley’s free kick from the right travelled all the way to net via post.
Before the game, a minute’s silence was held for Kathleen O’Driscoll, grandmother of Fermoy’s Seán McCarthy, who was buried yesterday
FERMOY: Liam Coleman; Adam Ronan, David Clancy, Darragh Scott, Alan Baragry; Seán McCarthy, Kurt Wheeler; John Hurley, Kevin Dolan, Colin Scott; Gavin Quirke.
Subs: Adrian Clancy for Quirke (59), Alan Deegan for Scott (62), Owen O’Neill for Wheeler (73), Kenneth Dawson for Baragry (81), Tommy Sheehan for Scott (90).
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Seán McLoughlin; Colm Horgan, James Tilley, Garry Buckley, Gearóid Morrissey, Shane Griffin; Karl Sheppard, Darragh Rainsford.
Subs: Conor McCormack for Morrissey (half-time), Graham Cummins for Sheppard (62), Dáire O’Connor for Rainsford (73), Ronan Hurley for Horgan (81).
Referee: Graham Kelly.