Cork City are safely through to the quarter finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup as they comprehensively defeated Athlone Town 7-0 at Turners Cross.
The FAI Cup holders started the game brightly and it took them just 65 seconds to edge in front as the lively Kieran Sadlier headed Karl Sheppard’s cross from the right back across goal and into the top corner.
City continued to pile forward and they quickly doubled their lead after 10 minutes.
Robbie Williams, who replaced veteran Alan Bennett at centre back from the side that narrowly defeated Finn Harps last time out, expertly spread the ball wide to Karl Sheppard on the wing.
The attacker skipped past Shane McGrane as the defender lost his footing before he calmly stroked the ball past goalkeeper Igor Labuts at his near post.
The Premier Division’s run away leaders hadn’t scored two goals in a game in six attempts since defeating Galway United 2-1 at the end of July.
But they soon made it three and it came from youngster Connor Ellis, who replaced Gearoid Morrissey in City’s only other change from the win in Ballybofey on Monday.
Ryan Delaney’s ball in behind the Town defence sent Shane Griffin through on goal and the left back unselfishly rolled the ball to Ellis to poke home from a few yards.
And it first half stoppage time, John Caulfield’s side made it four when Garry Buckley had the simple task of tapping Karl Sheppard’s excellent cross into the net from close range.
The second half continued with a similar theme to the first but it wasn’t until just past the hour mark that City grabbed their fifth of the evening.
A Shane Griffin corner from the right found the head of the recently introduced Achille Campion and he powered the ball into the bottom left corner much to the delight of the 1,667 in attendance.
Campion turned provider on 70 minutes as Connor Ellis snatched his second and his sides sixth when firing the French man’s knock down past the helpless keeper.
And Campion capped an impressive cameo in injury time when he too scored his second, drilling man of the match Kieran Sadlier’s cross into the gaping goal to make it a magnificent seven for the Leesiders.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie, Robbie Williams (Pierce Philips 67), Ryan Delaney (Conor McCarthy 45), Shane Griffin; Garry Buckley (Achille Campion 45), Conor McCormack; Karl Sheppard, Jimmy Keohane, Kieran Sadlier; Connor Ellis.
ATHLONE TOWN: Igor Labuts; Liam McCartan, Owen Folan, Stephen Walsh, Sean McGrane; Dragos Sfrijan, Ryan Gaffey (Joe Carmody 56); Conor Layng, Robert Spelman (Claudio Silva 45), Etanda Nkololo; Enda Curran (Peter Walsh 74).
Referee: Robert Hennessey (Clare).