Cork City 0 Shelbourne 4
IT is now five defeats in a row for Cork City in the Women’s National League as they were beaten 4-0 by Champions Shelbourne at Turner’s Cross on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Abbie Larkin, Saoirse Noonan, Noelle Murray, and Lia O'Leary were enough to see Shels make it 12 wins out of 13 this season while City fell to their third defeat in a row under the guidance of interim manager Jess Lawton.
Lawton was looking for a reaction from her side following their disappointing 2-0 defeat away to Sligo Rovers just seven days earlier and the hope was that Shels may be weary from their travels as they had to leave the capital early in the morning to make this rearranged kick-off time of 12 pm.
But unfortunately for the Leesiders that wasn’t to be the case as it took the league leaders just four minutes to make their superiority count on the scoreboard as they broke the deadlock through Abbie Larkin.
It was almost Noonan that opened the scoring but her header from Jess Gargan’s precise cross was somehow saved by Maria O’Sullivan.
But Larkin was alert inside the penalty area and she was quicker than the defenders to pounce on the loose ball which allowed her to hammer it across the line.
City reacted well to the concession of that goal and although their talented opponents dominated proceedings they did have a couple of opportunities to level the scores.
The best of those fell to Christina Dring but the striker could only turn Eva Mangan’s dangerous cross over from a tight angle at the near post.
And that miss would cost the home dearly as the visitors doubled their lead in the 35th minute with former City striker Saoirse Noonan again coming back to haunt her old club.
The goal was almost a carbon copy of the first as O’Sullivan again did great to stop Noelle Murray’s thunderous strike but Noonan was on her toes and blasted the rebound into the back of the Shed End net.
Shels carried that momentum into the second period and they had a glorious chance to add a third goal in the 54th minute.
Noonan was fouled right on the edge of the box but the referee felt the contact took place inside so a penalty was awarded but Murray’s powerful spot-kick crashed against the left post and clear to safety.
Noonan was denied by O’Sullivan when through on goal and City finished the game strongly but they just couldn't apply the finish that could have set up an interesting finale.
Dring twice failed to truly test Amanda Budden from distance although the former City shot-stopper was required to stop a long-range curler from Kate O’Donovan and a close-range shot from Mangan.
And Shelbourne would again show their quality late on as they secured an impressive win when Murray and substitute Lia O’Leary both rolled the ball past the keeper when through one on one.