Sligo Rovers 0-0 Cork City

Cork City missed out on the chance to move to third position in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they were held to a scoreless draw against much improved Sligo Rovers side at the Showgrounds. 

City will be disappointed to not have come away with the full quota of points after Sean Maguire saw his 55th-minute penalty saved by Micheál Schlingermann who brought down Karl Sheppard inside the Rovers penalty area.

The home side came into this game desperate for points being the only Premier Division side without a win. Rooted to the the foot of the table, Sligo will look to the talents of play-maker Kieran Sadlier if they are to improve on their poor start to the season.

The Republic of Ireland youth international went close with a blistering free-kick from the edge of the Cork area on eight minutes.

Jaanai Gordon, one of four Sligo changes from last week's defeat to Bray, was upended before Sadlier saw his hammered effort fly narrowly over Mark McNulty's crossbar. 

Gordon's strength saw him shake off the attentions of City centre-half Eoghan O'Connell five minutes later as Sligo showed their attacking intentions. But McNulty was on hand to block down the West Ham loanee's effort as the ball cannoned back off the Cork goalkeeper's chest.    

Cork enjoyed ample possession inside the Rovers half early on, but it wasn't until the 25th minute that Schlingermann was properly tested. Stephen Dooley found space in front of the Sligo back four before unleashing a fine drilled effort which was pushed away by the Sligo number one.

Schlingermann had to be alert once more after 32 minutes when Kevin O'Connor's burst of pace guided him past Sligo full-back Tobi Adebayo-Rowling. The Kiltimagh native pushed away O'Connor's speculative effort from out wide, which looked to be heading inside the near post. 

A wonderful piece of skill from Sadlier saw him easily skip past Colin Healy during the opening seconds of the second half. Sadlier's cross found the waiting Jimmy Keohane who could only crash his right-footed effort off Kenny Browne before Gordon's follow up suffered a similar fate. 

Sadlier went close again soon after when McNulty was forced to produce a strong hand to tip over the 21-year-old's well-hit volley from the angle. 

Maguire was offered a wonderful opportunity to send City into the ascendancy in the 55th minute when Schlingermann pulled down Karl Sheppard inside the area. Schlingermann atoned for his error, however, as he denied the Cork player his fifth goal of the campaign, grabbing the spot-kick low down to his left. 

It was then McNulty's turn to frustrate Sligo as Liam Martin found Keohane in space inside the Cork area on the hour mark. The midfielder teed up Gordon whose first-time effort was deflected away by the flailing legs of McNulty. 

Cork continued to press and Sheppard looked odds-on to put City into the lead after 69 minutes when he sprung the offside trap, but a superb last-ditch tackle from Regan Donelon was enough to take the ball off the toe of the former Everton youth. 

Cork substitute Garry Buckley headed over from Steven Beattie's cross in the 71st minute, while Martin was next go close to breaking the deadlock five minutes later. 

Sadlier and Craig Roddan then combined down the Sligo left. The former's cross landed in the path of Martin whose first-time volley squeezed past McNulty's far post with the goalkeeper all but beaten. 

Cork finished the game the stronger. O'Connor's free from deep caused all sorts of panic inside the Rovers area in the first minute of added time at the end of the game.

Schlingermann did well to rush through a series of players and claim the ball under pressure. While the busy Sligo goalkeeper stood strong once more, one minute later, to get behind Garry Buckley's drive from 20 yards as the home side held out for a well-earned point.      

Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Gary Boylan, Regan Donelon; Liam Martin, Jimmy Keohane, Craig Roddan, Jordan Richards (John Russell HT), Kieran Sadlier; Jaanai Gordon (Chris Lyons 60). 

Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy, Kenny Browne, Eoghan O'Connell, Kevin O'Connor; Gearoid Morrisey, Colin Healy (Garry Buckley 54), Stephen Dooley; Steven Beattie (Ian Turner 78), Karl Sheppard; Sean Maguire (Mark O'Sullivan 83). 

Referee: Robert Harvey.