Keating fires Cork City to a critical win over Sligo Rovers at Turner's Cross

After six defeats in a row the Rebel Army picked up the three points they badly needed
Keating fires Cork City to a critical win over Sligo Rovers at Turner's Cross

Kailin Barlow of Sligo Rovers in action against Aaron Bolger of Cork City at Turner's Cross. Picture: Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

Cork City 1 Sligo Rovers 0 

CORK City ended their six-game losing streak thanks to Ruairi Keating’s goal against Sligo Rovers at Turners Cross on Friday night. 

It was a disciplined performance from the Rebel Army, who contained their visitors throughout. Although it isn’t a game that will live long in the memory of the 3,051 spectators, it is a huge three points for City in their fight against relegation.

City had a lot of early possession in the opening stages but did little with the ball in terms of threatening the visitors. Sligo allowed their opponents to pass the ball across, and at times it was like a training ground match such was the tempo of Sligo’s pressing, and the slow build-up play from the Rebel Army.

When City did go forward, they looked to release Tunde Owolabi in the hope that the inform striker could make something happen. Although the former Finn Harps’ forward was making a nuisance of himself, he was having little joy.

Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh was once again showing his worth to the team. Every time the 18-year-old collected the ball, he created problems for Sligo. It was his waited pass that allowed Keating to get in behind the away side’s defence, with the striker then firing across Luke McNicholas to give his side the lead, and in doing so, ended his eight-game scoreless run.

City’s new look backline looked comfortable against their opponents and when they were broken down Jimmy Corcoran was capable of dealing with the efforts. City were disciplined in their defensive shape and were more of a back-five than a three.

City almost doubled their lead before half-time when Keating's deflected header from a Healy inswinging free-kick came off the underside of the crossbar, with Sligo eventually clearing the danger.

Owolabi’s pace was certainly causing problems, and the striker should have done better with his effort when he fired high over the crossbar inside the penalty area.

Not only was Keating a threat going forward, the attacker was also an asset in his own team’s penalty area. The striker was excellent in his defending at set-piece with one particular defensive header denying Sligo.

Sligo finally seriously threatened the City goal in the 53rd minute when Frank Liivak saw his powerful strike go just wide of the post. Liivak was becoming more of an influence in the game, this time seeing his effort go straight into the arms of Corcoran.

It was City that came closest to scoring again with Owolabi and Healy both having efforts on the Sligo goal with the latter sent off in injury time for a second yellow card.

CITY: Corcoran; Walker (Krezic 80), Crowley, Hakkinen, Custovic, O’Donovan; Bolger, Healy, O’Brien-Whitmarsh (Coffey 77); Keating, Owolabi.

SLIGO: McNicholas; Brannefalk (Browning-Lagerfeldt), Mahon, Hutchinson, Pijnaker; Bolger, Morahan, Barlow (Cawley 46); Fitzgerald, Radosavljevic (Hartmann 46), Liivak (Lafferty 77).

Referee: D Dunne

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