Cork City returned to winning ways in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they drubbed Drogheda United 5-0 at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
A brace apiece from Karl Sheppard and Sean Maguire, following a Jimmy Keohane opener, was enough to deservedly see City earn the win that sees them stretch their lead at the top of the division to 13 points.
The Leesiders started the game brightly and it took them just 11 minutes to break the deadlock, thanks to a tidy finish from Keohane.
The attacking midfielder burst past the defence and into the box before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper from a difficult angle.
City continued to pile numbers forward as they felt an opportunity to add further goals and they duly doubled their lead after 20 minutes thanks to a deft finish from Maguire.
Right-back Johnny Dunleavy whipped in a cross from the flank that looked to have been just behind Maguire.
But the lethal striker cleverly flicked the ball across the goalkeeper and into the far bottom left corner from close range.
Cork’s Stephen Dooley was causing Drogheda’s defence numerous problems with his pace and he created his sides third moments later, teeing up a grateful Sheppard to fire home from a few yards.
Sheppard capped an incredible period of the game, where the league leaders grabbed three goals in just four minutes, with a goal of the season contender.
Maguire’s neat lay off found Sheppard in the penalty area and the confident winger clipped a sensational effort over the rooted keeper and into the far corner of the net.
It was now just a question of how many goals Cork City were going to score as Maguire almost made it five just shy of the half-hour mark.
Dooley again was the provider as his superb cross from the right found the forward unmarked in the middle, but he could only tower his header straight at a relived Stephen McGuinness shortly before the half-time interval.
The second half started with a similar theme to the first and Maguire almost scored shortly after the restart, but his header struck the near post.
Maguire completed the scoring just past the hour mark, drilling a low shot into the bottom left corner for his 13th league goal of the season, to make it 14 games unbeaten for Cork.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Jimmy Keohane. Alan Bennett (Shane Griffin 53), John Dunleavy, Ryan Delaney, Kevin O’Connor; Greg Bolger, Karl Sheppard (Connor Ellis 62), Garry Buckley, Stephen Dooley (Achille Campion 67); Seán Maguire
Drogheda United: Stephen McGunniess; Shane Elworthy (Stephen Dunne 45), Luke Gallagher, Ciaran McGuigan, Conor Kane; Killian Brennan, Richard Purdy (Sean Thornton 42); Adam Wixted, Jake Hyland (Sean Brennan 74), Gavin Brennan, Mark Griffin
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)