Cork City 1 Shelbourne 3
CORK City sustained a third defeat in four SSE Airtricity League First Division games as Shelbourne came from behind to take the points at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
While Colin Healy’s side led through an early Dylan McGlade penalty, they had to play for more than an hour with ten men after the sending-off of Jack Walsh and Shels dominated the second half to take points.
The result means a third straight loss for the Rebel Army and no goal from play since the opening-night win over Cobh Ramblers, leaving them in eighth place.
The City line-up initially circulated showed one change from last week’s loss to Athlone Town, with Darragh Crowley replacing the injured Cian Bargary, but Steven Beattie was injured in the warm-up and Uniss Kargbo came in at right-back for his first start of the season.
After two games without a goal, City had a great start as they were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute when Maxim Kougoun pushed Cian Coleman in the area as he tried to reach a Gearóid Morrissey pass. McGlade stepped up and slotted home from the spot.
Shels had a penalty shout immediately after that for a Morrissey challenge on Shane Farrell but nothing accrued and Alec Byrne had a go from distance for City, the ball deflecting out for a corner off Ally Gilchrist.
City never really got a chance to put themselves in a comfortable position though as Shels equalised in the 20th minute, with Gilchrist nodding in at the back post from a George Poynton corner. On the half-hour, things became more difficult as the home side were reduced to ten men.
As City centre-forward Jack Walsh challenged Farrell for an aerial ball, the Shelbourne winger went down and, as he tried to get back up, clashed with Walsh. A brief scuffle ensued as the Shels players reacted and, when referee Marc Lynch restored order, he showed Walsh the red card.
With the extra man, Shels had chances between there and half-time, albeit without fully over-running City, who had Darragh Crowley up front and Alec Byrne on the right as they switched to a 4-4-1.
A low Poynton corner was met by Dayle Rooney but he couldn’t get the direction right while a cross from former City man Kevin O’Connor was met by his namesake Michael but saved by Mark McNulty. A minute before the break, Rooney did well on the left but his cross bounced awkwardly in front of Jonathan Lunney, who was unable to get a shot in.
City switched things up again for the second half, with Dale Holland coming on for goalscorer McGlade and Cian Coleman dropping back as third centre-half in a 5-3-1 formation. However, within two minutes of the restart they had fallen behind.
City’s George Heaven looked cut out a long delivery but his clearance was only as far as Poynton. He appeared to try a shot but, while it was wayward, left-back Ronan Hurley was unable to stop it trickling through to Farrell, who showed good composure to send a high finish past McNulty.
Farrell shot wide soon after that and Michael O’Connor had a better opportunity for a 3-1 lead, again reaching a Kevin O’Connor cross only for the ball to hit the outside of the post and go wide. Midway through the second period, Gilchrist almost got his second and Shels’ third, his downward header from a Rooney corner nearing a good McNulty save.
Needing to chase the game, City brought on Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh to partner Cian Murphy, who had earlier replaced Crowley, but an equaliser never looked likely before Shels sub Yousef Mahdy made the game safe, converting a penalty after he had been fouled by Morrissey.
McNulty; Kargbo, Heaven, Häkkinen (O’Brien-Whitmarsh 78), Hurley; Byrne, Morrissey; Crowley (Murphy 55), Coleman, McGlade (Holland half-time); Walsh.
Clarke; Barker, Kougoun, Gilchrist, K O’Connor; Poynton (Mahdy 62), McManus; Farrell (Cetiner 90), Lunney, Rooney; M O’Connor (Brennan 68).
M Lynch (Galway).