CORK City’s flying winger Stephen Dooley seems a reluctant hero when it comes to his football skills and talent but he can’t get away from the fact that he is playing some of the best ball of his career at the moment.
The man from Portstewart near Coleraine was voted man of the match in City’s 11th consecutive win in all competitions in the 3-0 EA Sports Cup victory over Limerick at the Markets Field in Garryowen on bank holiday Monday.
“It’s very nice to be named man of the match but I think I’d trade it for a goal at the moment. I think I kicked the floor with one of my chances and another was hit straight at the goalkeeper. It was a solid enough win for us and just the right result to take into our league game with St Pat’s up at Inchicore on Friday night.
“The league is our main priority and this current nine-game winning run has all our focus and attention even though it’s nice to keep that winning habit up regardless of the competition,” said Dooley, after Cork joined Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk, Galway United, Longford Town, Sligo Rovers, Waterford United and the holders St Pat’s in the last eight.
Liam Buckley’s side had to go to extra-time and a penalty shoot-out to see off Bray Wanderers 5-3 at Inchicore.
“My form has been a bit up and down and I’d like to get a bit more consistency into my game and string a few more good performances together. I think I have done well at times but there’s room for improvement too. I want to keep the head down and keep working hard on the training ground and hopefully we can keep getting wins.
“I had a few assists okay and I was pleased with that and it was good to see some of the boys who have come in and hadn’t been playing as much to do well. Shane Griffin got a fine goal and young Alec Byrne scored from one of my corners and it was great for them to get on the score sheet and get some game time for a change,” said the 25-year-old.
“Listen what’s equally important, if not more so, is the clean sheets in defence and if you keep that up then you don’t lose matches.
"We pride ourselves on doing good at the back and keeping our goal intact and so far so good this year. We have been very solid – we have a great back four and a great keeper in Mark McNulty – and we have good cover all across the backline. We have great momentum built up now and our win up in Limerick in the League Cup was just the result we all wanted to take on the road on Friday when heading to St Pat’s and Inchicore,” he added.