Cork City moved four points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division as they comfortably defeated Bohemians 3-0 at Turner’s Cross.
Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half from Graham Cummins and Kieran Sadlier, who notched his third penalty in consecutive games, and a late Karl Sheppard strike was enough to secure the victory for the Champions.
City made two changes to the side that was held to a 1-1 draw by Limerick at Markets Field on Friday night with Jimmy Keohane and Garry Buckley replacing Gearoid Morrissey and Karl Sheppard.
And following a tame opening, Keohane justified his inclusion in the starting eleven as he played his part in Cork’s fortunate opener after 18 minutes.
McNamee’s pass found the midfielder on the edge of Bohemians penalty area and his powerful effort appeared to strike his teammate Graham Cummins before trickling past a despairing Shane Supple and across the line.
The Leesiders doubled their advantage just three minutes later as the referee pointed the penalty spot after Rob Cornwall was adjudged to have handled in the box.
Kieran Sadlier calmly strode forward and drilled his penalty into the top left corner for his fifth goal of the season, four of which have been from the spot.
Sadlier almost added a fortuitous third as the first half drew to a close but his cross from the left sailed narrowly wide of the far corner moments before McNulty was called into action for the first time as he easily denied Ian Morris’ shot from distance.
City started the second half brightly and they almost made it three shortly after the restart but after racing on to Jimmy Keohane’s through ball, Graham Cummins dragged his strike wide of the far left post.
Superb defending from defenders Shane Griffin and Sean McLoughlin ensured the home side remained two goals to the good just shy of the hour mark as they blocked the respective goalbound efforts from Bohs’ duo Dylan Watts and Jonathan Lunney.
The Dublin side again went close moments later as Eoghan Stokes’ in-swinging corner was tipped onto his back post and clear for another corner by Mark McNulty before Dan Casey headed the resulting set-piece wide.
That proved to be as close as Bohemians would come to finding the net and City sealed the victory with two minutes remaining as Karl Sheppard grabbed his first league goal of the season, blasting Barry McNamee’s short free into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Aaron Barry, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Jimmy Keohane, Conor McCormack; Barry McNamee, Garry Buckley (Gearoid Morrissey 25), Kieran Sadlier (Karl Sheppard 66); Graham Cummins (Colm Horgan 89).
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender (Ian Morris 26), Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Darragh Leahy; Keith Buckley; Jonathan Lunney, Dylan Watts (Dinny Corcoran 64), Oscar Brennan, Karl Moore; Eoghan Stokes (Keith Ward 70).Referee: Tomas Connolly.