Galway 5 Cork City 1
CORK City slumped to their 13th defeat of the Women’s National League season as they were heavily beaten 5-1 by Galway at Eamonn Deasy Park on Saturday evening.
Another goal on her return from a long absence for Laura Shine was the main positive for City, who were left to rue a disastrous start to the match.
Danny Murphy’s side had been showing signs of improvement in recent weeks as they came into this fixture having won two of their last three games in all competitions with the other game being a narrow 1-0 loss to third in the table Athlone Town.
They had only conceded two goals in those three outings but any hope of continuing that decent run suffered a huge blow after just one minute here and a fatal blow after just nine minutes when they found themselves trailing 3-0.
City actually kicked off this contest but after 18 seconds they needed Maria O’Sullivan to make a superb save with her feet to turn the player of the match Julie-Ann Russell’s shot wide of her near post.
The reprieve was all too brief for the Leesiders though as Ciara McNamara could only head the resulting corner - dangerously whipped in by Lynsey McKey - past her own keeper from a few yards out.
The Rebel Army’s inability to defend their opponent’s set pieces cost them dear again with six minutes on the clock as striker Bryce Reynolds scrambled the ball home at the back post following another well-taken corner.
And by the ninth minute City were three goals down and again it was from a corner as Jamie Erickson was given the freedom of the penalty area and expertly planted her header into the bottom left corner of the net.
O’Sullivan needed to be at her best to prevent Galway from notching a fourth and after she caught Katie Thompson’s long-range free before it could find her top left corner, she smothered the ball at the feet of McKey who looked certain to finish.
But on either side of those chances, City had recovered and begun to play some nice football with Eva Mangan in particular showing her superb range of passing.
Lauren Singleton missed a glorious chance from a few yards after being picked out by Orlaith Deasy’s superb cross before Nadine Seward forced Abbiegayle Ronyane into making a great save.
City ought to have reduced the deficit shortly before the half-time break but after Deasy’s low drive was parried, the on-running Christian Dring just couldn’t turn the ball home from close range.
Murphy made three substitutions during the break and two of them helped City finally pull a goal back as Nathalie O’Brien released Seward and her cross to the back stick was fired in by Laura Shine.
But a quick and clinically dispatched brace by Lynsey McKey earned Galway a big win even despite Chloe Singleton’s straight red card on the hour.
Abbiegayle Ronyane, Becky Walsh, Shauna Brennan, Chloe Singleton, Julie-Ann Russell, Lynsey McKey, Elle-Rose O’Flaherty, Therese Kinnevey, Bryce Reynolds, Jamie Erickson, Kate Thompson.
Aoibheann Costello for O’Flaherty (65), Nicole McNamara for Kinnevey (65), Jenna Slattery for McKey (75), Eve Dossen for Walsh (84) Sinead Donovan for Russell (84).
Maria O’Sullivan, Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Zara Foley, Nadine Seward, Kate O’Donovan, Christina Dring, Aoibhin Donnelly, Orlaith Deasy, Eva Mangan, Lauren Singleton.
Chloe Atkinson for O’Donovan (ht), Nathalie O’Brien for Singleton (ht), Laura Shine for Donnelly (ht), Shaunagh McCarthy for Deasy (58), Aoife Cronin for O’Brien (68).