A "double whammy" for Cork City proved the difference according to manager John Caulfield as the Leesider’s were beaten 2-0 by Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The Candystripes sealed the victory in the final minute of the game, but Cork manager John Caulfield believes that two incidents cost his side their chance of halting their poor run of form.
Eoin Toal handed Derry a 22nd-minute lead following some indecisive goalkeeping from Cork stalwart Mark McNulty, which left Cork facing an uphill battle against the in-form home side.
And Cork’s search for an equaliser was hampered as Caulfield’s side were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute as former Derry midfielder Conor McCormack picked up his second yellow card.
The second caution was a harsh one, according to City manager Caulfield who was convinced that Barry McNamee fell over, which resulted in a penalty for the home side and a red card for McCormack.
"Barry McNamee lost control and fell over," Caulfield told RTE Sport. "But the referee gave the penalty and then it was a double-whammy as Conor McCormack was sent off.
"It was that type of night, we had a few chances at 1-0, [Conor] McCarthy had a ball cleared off the line, Peter Cherrie made two good saves from Garry Buckley and James Tilley.
"And then in the last minute, a clearance by us hit the referee and went back in [and they scored], so it was that type of night."
Caulfield admitted that Derry dominated the game in terms of possession but felt that his side had enough chances to take something from the long trip north.
And the manager appeared more concerned by the manner which his side are conceding goals in recent weeks, as Cork languish in eighth place in the table, already a massive 19 points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers, just 13 games into the season.
"It was a tight game and the first goal came from a set-piece, which was disappointing as we knew their threat.
"In terms of possession, Derry dominated, and while we are struggling to score, we knew we would get opportunities.
"The referee didn’t have one of his better games. Sometimes when it is going against you, some of the decisions go against you, but we are disappointed because we haven’t scored.
"The first goal was a soft goal. We are really good at defending set pieces and we have given a few of them away in the last four or five weeks. And that is just concentration, so we need to work on that.
"We have a much younger team than we had before, but the lads are working hard. We are under pressure and getting a bit of stick but they have to grow up pretty quickly so we roll on Monday night now to another match."