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Cork City 3-0 Shamrock Rovers

Updated: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 22:01 | Comments

Mark O'Sullivan headed home for Cork's second goal
Mark O'Sullivan headed home for Cork's second goal

Cork City moved clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division following an emphatic 3-0 victory over previous leaders Shamrock Rovers in front of 5676 delighted home fans at a wet Turners Cross.

John Caulfield's side produced a display of superb attacking football that yielded three fine goals to give them their fourth league victory on the bounce.

Billy Dennehy scored against his former team to give Cork the lead on 13 minutes, with man-of-the-match Mark O'Sullivan heading Cork 2-0 in front on 53 minutes, before Darren Dennehy completing the scoring just after the hour.

Both sides came into the much awaited fixture with ten league points each, with the same goal difference and the visitors just above Cork on more goals scored.

Shamrock Rovers fielded the same starting eleven that won them their last three games, against Sligo Rovers at home and both Bohemians and Athlone away.

Cork boss Caulfield made one change to the home team, with Liam Kearney who was introduced as a substitute in the 3-0 win in Athlone, retaining his place after scoring in the win in the midlands.

With a heavy rain falling the ball was skidding on the damp surface as both teams found their bearings, before Cork made the breakthrough with the lead goal after 13 minutes.

Mark O'Sullivan made space on the left wing, before sending in a fine cross for Gary Buckley to power a header which was saved by goalkeeper Barry Murphy, only for former Hoops player Billy Dennehy to sweep home the rebound from six yards.

Cork could have extended their lead when Buckley broke into the penalty area and his powerful shot was deflected for a corner kick off a defender. From the corner O'Sullivan bundled the ball home, but referee Rob Rogers ruled the goal out for pushing.

Urged on by the huge home crowd, the Leesiders went close again when a Liam Kearney piledriver brought a brilliant diving save from Murphy after 27 minutes.

At this stage referee Rogers was not winning too many friends amongst the Cork fans, as in a well contested match, he booked three of their players,Gearòid Morrissey, Colin Healy and Darren Dennehy all having to be careful for the second half.

Just before the half time whistle, Cork's battling centre forward O'Sullivan, thumped a brilliant 25 yard volley, which dipped just over Murphy's crossbar, as the visitors went to the break, glad to be just a goal behind.

The home side did eventually score a deserved second goal in the 57nd minute.

Billy Dennehy raced down the right touchline and picked out Mark O'Sullivan with a pin point centre, for the forward to power a header past Murphy from eight yards.

City fans were on their feet in appreciation for the attacking football they were being treated to by their side and it got even better just after the hour mark with  a third Cork goal.

Colin Healy this time was the provider, when he sent in a cross to the far post for the towering Darren Dennehy to finish at the far post, to make it a great night for the Dennehy brothers from Kerry.

Cork: Mark McNulty; Brian Lenihan, Darren Dennehy, John Dunleavy; Liam Kearney, Gearòid Morrissey, Colin Healy (Dave O'Leary 73), Gary Buckley, Billy Dennehy (John Kavanagh 83); Mark O'Sullivan (Lehane 89)

Subs not used: Darren Murphy, Ian Turner, Kevin Mulcahy, Matt Gledhill.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna,Jason McGuinness, Luke Byrne; Ryan Brennan (Stephen McPhail 68), Shane Robinson;  Gary McCabe (Eamon Zayed 79) Ronan Finn, Sean O'Connor (Kieran Waters 57); Ciaràin Kilduff.

Subs not used: Karl Sheppard, Robert Cornwall, Robert Bayly, Graig Hyland.

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