By Micil Glennon at the UCD Bowl
UCD ended a three-game losing streak in the Airtricity League Premier Division with a 3-0 win over Cork City at the UCD Bowl.
Two goals in either half from David McMillan and Hugh Douglas’s 70th-minute header were enough to see Martin Russell’s side jump over Bohemians and go level with Bray, who lost this evening to Derry City and league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic respectively.
The mid-season break seemed to have done wonders for The Students as they got off to the perfect start, taking the lead after just 35 seconds.
Robbie Benson won the ball on the left wing before pulling back for Robbie Creevy on the edge of the box.
His shot was blocked but the ball rolled kindly to McMillan who tapped past a prone Mark McNulty for his 11th goal of the season.
The home side continued to press in the opening stages with Cork defenders Gearoid Morrissey and Darren Dennehy both blocking goal-bound efforts.
The Leesiders began to gain more possession, but it took until the 23rd minute for UCD goalkeeper Mark McGinley to see some action, saving twice, both comfortably enough, from Daryl Horgan in a two-minute spell.
But they should have levelled the game just before the half-hour mark when the Students defence was marked absent.
Midfielder Shane Duggan was left all alone 10 yards out but volleyed Danny Murphy’s perfect centre over the bar.
The tempo of the game dropped significantly before the half-time whistle and McGinley’s save from a tame effort from left-back Murphy was the only action of note.
But just eight minutes after the break the home side doubled their lead.
There looked to be nothing on when the ball dropped to McMillian 35 yards out so the former St Pat’s striker tried his luck and gave McNulty no chance with a shot that sailed into the top corner.
That goal put McMillan third in UCD’s all-time league top scorers list on 40.
The Munster side responded, winning a free kick and a couple of corners but the best opportunity fell to Danny Furlong who shot wide from 18 yards as the UCD defence stood off.
And that miss was punished just minutes later when Douglas rose highest to nod substitute Samir Belhout’s corner past McNulty and make the game safe.
City boss Tommy Dunne withdrew Daryl Kavanagh and the impressive Daryl Horgan, introducing Denis Behan and Ian Turner, but it was too late as College threatened a fourth.
The result leaves the Rebel Army, who left the field to chants of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ and ‘What a waste of money’ from the visiting fans, on 20 points and in danger of being dragged into a relegation dogfight.
UCD: Mark McGinley, Gareth Matthews, Mark Langtry, Dave O’Connor (c), Hugh Douglas, Robbie Creevy, James Kavanagh, Robbie Benson (Barry McCabe 81), Gary Burke (Samir Belhout 66), David McMillan, Sean Russell.
Subs not used: Ger Barron, Tyrone McNelis, Liam Traynor, Dinny Corcoran, Craig Walsh.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Garry Buckley, Darren Dennehy, Shane Duggan, Danny Murphy, Danny Furlong, John Dunleavy, Gearoid Morrissey, Daryl Kavanagh (Denis Behan 67), Neal Horgan (c), Daryl Horgan (Ian Turner 73).
Subs not used: Kevin Burns, Adam Rundle, Kalen Spillane, Stephen Kenny, John Kavanagh.
Referee: Adriano Reale.