Cork City made it two wins from as many games at the beginning of the new SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they defeated Waterford 2-0 at Turner's Cross on Friday evening.
Goals from Gearoid Morrissey and Garry Buckley at the start of the second half ensured the Champions maintained their perfect start to the campaign at the expense of their Munster rivals. City made two changes to the side that defeated St Pat’s 3-2 in last week’s thrilling season opener at Richmond Park.
Gearoid Morrissey replaced Jimmy Keohane while Garry Buckley came in for striker Graham Cummins who missed the game following his sending off in his first league game since his return to Leeside.
Those changes meant that Karl Sheppard began as the lone striker and he twice went close to giving the hosts the lead in the opening exchanges.
The Cork number 19 was twice picked out by the lively Kieran Sadlier but on both occasions, he could only direct his efforts wide of the left post.Waterford remained unchanged from the side that impressively defeated Derry City 2-1 at the Regional Sports Centre in their first game since returning to the Premier Division.
The visitors quickly grew in confidence and began to control proceedings but it wasn’t until midway through the first half that they truly threatened to take the lead. Bastien Hery turned cleverly in the middle of the City half and surged towards goal before unleashing a powerful strike that sailed just past the far top left corner.
The match continued to struggle by way of clear goal scoring chances although the Leesiders again went close shortly before the half-time interval but Barry McNamee’s free dropped just wide of the far corner after deflecting off the head of Hery.
But City would eventually show the class that saw them secure the title last season as they took the lead in the 55th minute. After Barry McNamee’s initial effort was blocked, the ball broke kindly towards Gearoid Morrissey on the edge of the area and the midfielder coolly slotted past the keeper and into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.
The home side quickly went in search of a second and they were duly rewarded just after the hour mark as Garry Buckley doubled City’s lead to seal the three points. Kieran Sadlier found Buckley with a clever clipped pass over the top of the defence and Buckley made no mistake, poking his strike past the keeper at his near post to ensure City remain at the top of the league.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie, Aaron Barry, Alan Bennett, Shane Griffin; Gearoid Morrissey, Conor McCormack; Barry McNamee, Garry Buckley (Jimmy Keohane 85), Kieran Sadlier (Michael Howard 89); Karl Sheppard.
WATERFORD: Niall Corbett; Rory Feely, Kenny Browne, David Webster, Gary Comerford; Paul Keegan, Bastien Hery, Stanley Aborah (Derek Daly 69), Gavan Holohan; Dean O’Halloran (Dylan Barrett 69), Ismahil Akinade.Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).