Cork City made it two wins out of two at the beginning of John Cotter’s interim reign in charge of the club as they deservedly defeated UCD at Turner’s Cross.
Goals in each half from Karl Sheppard and Graham Cummins were enough to earn City their second league win of the season, which moves them nine points clear of the second from bottom Students.
Cotter made two changes to the side that defeated Bohemians 1-0 at Dalymount Park in his first night in charge last Friday as Dáire O’Connor and Graham Cummins replaced Géaroid Morrissey and Darragh Rainsford.
City started on the front foot and they took the lead inside five minutes thanks to a close-range finish from Karl Sheppard.
James Tilley’s free-kick broke to Sheppard on the back post and the captain drilled his powerful effort past the defenders on the line for his first league goal of the season.
The hosts continued to pile forward in numbers and they almost doubled their advantage in the 12th minute but Graham Cummins could only slide Conor McCarthy’s cross straight at goalkeeper Conor Kearns.
Collie O’Neil made three alterations to the starting eleven that was beaten 3-0 by Finn Harps in their last outing as Jason McClelland, Sean McDonald and Evan Farrell took the places of Dan Tobin, Neil Farrugia and Richie O’Farrell.
They eventually threatened the City goal midway through the first half but Gary O’Neill’s ambitions weren’t rewarded as his shot from distance was easily saved by Mark McNulty.
Striker Yoyo Mahdy had two decent opportunities to level the scores as the first period wore on but after curling wide of the top right corner from the edge of the area, he blasted over the bar from a better position inside the box.
City finished the first 45 the better side and moments after Sean McLoughlin headed over from close range, O’Connor drilled a shot wide of the near post following a clever one-two with Sheppard.
The Leesiders gave the majority of the 2,249 in attendance reasons to be optimistic in the first half but their good work was almost undone at the beginning of the second.
A dangerous UCD free kick fell perfectly for Josh Collins inside the box but the centre-back was unfortunate to see his thunderous half volley crash against the underside of the crossbar and away.
And Cork would punish their opponents for missing that glorious opportunity as they made it 2-0 with 53 minutes on the clock.
Kevin O’Connor’s excellent cross from the left wing picked out the run of Cummins and he expertly turned the ball into the bottom left corner of the net for his third league goal of the campaign.
City were now in a very comfortable position and they attempted to add a third from distance but both James Tilley and Sheppard failed to beat the keeper with their efforts.
The visitors' best chance of setting up an interesting finale fell to Conor Davis but his effort from twenty plus yards deflected narrowly wide of the right post as City hung on for the three points.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Sean McLoughlin, Garry Comerford; Conor McCormack, James Tilley, Kevin O’Connor; Dáire O’Connor (Pierce Phillips 81), Graham Cummins (Matthew Gillam 93, Karl Sheppard.
UCD: Conor Kearns; Evan Farrell, Josh Collins, Liam Scales, Mark Dignam; Gary O’Neil, Paul Doyle; Jason McClelland (Richie O’Farrell 72), Sean McDonald (Neil Farrugia 58), Conor Davis (Kevin Coffey 86); Yoyo Mahdy.
Referee: Tómas Connolly (Dublin)