by Owen Thornhill
Sligo Rovers 2 – 2 Cork City
After the weekend off Cork City had a very busy week ahead facing them.
I travelled to Sligo to see the Rebel Army take a surprise lead against the run of play after just seven minutes as Ian Turner counter-attacked.
He pulled inside passing the Sligo left back to take a shot which took a deflection off one of the Sligo centre backs to hit the back of the net with the keeper going the wrong way.
Sligo had most of the possession for the first half but couldn’t do much with it.
In fact City broke on the counter-attack several times and nearly caught Sligo out again.
In the first half Sligo had the lion’s share of possession but in terms of chances created it was nearly even, possibly Sligo with a slight advantage.
In the Second half it was a similar story and Cork converted one of these chances with Vinny Sullivan taking advantage of a slip up by substitute Darren Quigley.
Then Cork City sat back a bit much and gave away a free kick just outside the box where they effectively had a 10-man wall but Quigley quickly redeemed his previous mistake by putting the ball into the net centimetres past Mark McNulty’s finger tips to make it 2-1 with about 15 minutes to go.
With five minutes left Danny North was backing into Cork centre back Kalen Spillane who tried to nick the ball off him in the box but kicked the side of North’s leg which made North jump into the air like he stepped on a landmine!
At first the referee shook his head, then he looked around and the linesman seemed to tell him to give it but it seemed very harsh to me.
Spillane didn’t need to go for the ball but there was very little contact in it.
Anyway villain come hero for Sligo Darren Quigley stepped up to take the penalty and equalize with just a few minutes to go.
That’s how it finished and for Cork to get a draw away from home to the league leaders was a great result but the way it happened was really disappointing.
On Tuesday night City faced English Championship side Watford with former Chelsea Legend Zola in charge and with new Italian owners.
Cork started this game with no first team player, just a mix of first team fringe players and the double winning U19 team, the game never really got going, both teams just going through the motions, Watford won 2-0 with Cork having only one major chance.
On Wednesday night was the glamour tie of Manchester United, over 6,000 turned up for the game to see Cork City win 2-0.
City started with the first team but made 16 subs so that the U19s finished the game with O’Connor getting the second goal on the 91st minute.
It was a weak Manchester United team but still, the second half was a weak Cork City team and the “weak” Man Utd players were still on professional contracts while the Cork City U19s were all amateurs from around the city and county.
Next up for the Rebel Army on Friday night is Shelbourne in the league; City can catch Shels in the table with a win so it’s the most important game this week and hopefully many of the 6,000 plus crowd from Wednesday night will return to see competitive football in Turners Cross at 7.45pm.
Check out the westcorkcommando’s Facebook page HERE if you’re interested in car pooling or possibly getting mini buses to big games.