Shamrock Rovers 3 Cork City 1
CORK CITY’S coronation party for the league title is on hold for another few weeks, at least.
Their first away defeat of the season to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium, coupled with Dundalk's 6-0 demolition of St Pat's, leaves them still needing five points to clinch the championship.
It was a damaging result for John Caulfield’s champions-in-waiting and the City manager suggested that it was a psychological blow to his charges.
“It probably is a damaging defeat, psychologically, but we need to bounce back and start winning matches again and get back to what we did best when we went on our 22-match unbeaten run.
"It hasn’t been from a lack of effort or anything like that but the subconscious does weird things at times,” said Caulfield as he reflected on a best forgotten 90 minutes football.
Rovers were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes before Gearoid Morrissey pulled a goal back in the 70th minute only for the home team to add a third five minutes for the end.
Over 3,400 turned up to witness this TV clash in the capital as goals from Ronan Finn, Brandon Miele and substitute Michael O’Connor gave the Hoops their second victory over Cork in a fortnight.
“Tonight we should have been buzzing but we were flat. We struggled to get to the pitch of the game especially in that poor first half and while we improved after the break, we never really threatened,” he added.
Cork have a break from league action now as they face Longford Town in the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup in the midlands next Saturday night and if the tie ends in a draw then the replay will be back at Turner’s Cross on Tuesday week.
“It’s an opportunity for us as the Cup holders to get back into the semi-finals and we really want to get back to the Aviva Stadium in the first week of November for the final and try to retain our trophy.
“We have been a bit inconsistent of late but there’s no place to hide and we need to get back on track fast,” added Caulfield, who will be pleased to know that Crystal Palace’s Damien Delaney is thinking of moving back to Cork next year.