Cork City manager John Caulfield said his side have to pick themselves up from the hammer blow to their hopes of retaining the SSE Airtricity Premier Division title last night.

City were beaten 2-1 by Sligo Rovers at Turner’s Cross as Dundalk moved six points clear of the champions thanks to their win in Limerick

The home side were in front thanks to Karl Sheppard’s goal, but David Cawley and Raffaele Cretaro scored late on for the Bit O’Red.

Caulfield told RTÉ Sport: "We're obviously very disappointed. For 60 minutes we've played really, really well. We scored and had an opportunity to go 2-0 up. The game was there for the taking, Kieran Sadlier hits the post, that could have put us 2-0 up. We self-destructed then.

"We conceded a soft goal and ended up being on the backfoot. Raff Cretaro did well when he came on and got the winning goal. We had a chance to pull the game out of the fire. It's disappointing to have our first home defeat.

"It's funny. Sligo's away record is very good. They did us last year and again tonight. We were quite good for 60 minutes and were in control at 1-0 up but it was a soft goal and we never recovered from that. There is no place to hide. We have to recover and get ourselves ready for next week.

"Sligo are a full-time professional team. It's a fantastic club with fantastic passionate supporters in a real soccer town"

"Anything can happen. From our point of view, we have to get back in our next league game and try to win a match. Overall tonight we did well but we didn't do enough in the last 30 minutes and that is what is disappointing. We didn't create enough. We have to stand up and be counted."

Caulfield did offer praise for their opponents who have often underachieved this season.

"Sligo are a full-time professional team. It's a fantastic club with fantastic passionate supporters in a real soccer town. They are probably disappointed they are not further up the table.

"With the quality they have they should be challenging for Europe. I'm sure they'll be disappointed. No doubt Gerard is probably preparing for next season now."