herald

Friday 30 September 2016

Bohs still can't find back of the net

Bohemians 0 Cork City 1

Referee Robert Rogers shows a red card to Bohs' Mark Quigley. David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Referee Robert Rogers shows a red card to Bohs' Mark Quigley. David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Cork City have league leaders Dundalk very much in their sights after yet another perfect combination of a win and a clean sheet, to show from their trip to Dublin last night.

But Bohemians, beaten 1-0 at home to Cork, are now nervously looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone following a return of just one point and, worryingly, no goals, from their last five league games.

The inability to force even one save from Cork keeper Mark McNulty at a rain-sodden Dalymount Park means that Cork were full value for the win, from Garry Buckley's 47th-minute goal, which keeps them in touch with champions Dundalk at the top. Bohs, however, are only four points off the relegation zone.

Scoring goals has been the big problem for the Gypsies and while Bohs initially looked more confident in attack and took the game to City, Cork keeper McNulty was well protected by a defence which came into this game on the back of three successive clean sheets.

Paddy Kavanagh and Jake Kelly had half chances for Bohs in the first 10 minutes, midfielder Steven Beattie among those to help out at the back for Cork.

On 17 minutes Keith Buckley teed up a chance for Lorcan Fitzgerald but again Cork's back line stood firm, while on 21 minutes a superb ball from Eoin Wearen set up Kelly, but he was unable to get a shot in on McNulty's goal.

Just before the break, Roberto Lopes tried to get on the end of a long-range free kick from Lorcan Fitzgerald but he was unable to connect.

For all the possession, McNulty was left untroubled and Bohs needed their keeper Dean Delany to be alert, Cork coming more into the game. Kevin O'Connor sent a free-kick just over the bar and Sean Maguire also threatened but Delany made a top-class save on 38 minutes to keep out a shot from Greg Bolger. Delany was left all on his own to deal with the threat just two minutes into the second half as midfielder Buckley was unmarked and had to simply tap in from Maguire's cross, Buckley's first goal of the season.

One of Cork's strengths this season is their ability to spread the burden of goal-scoring, as their 21 league goals to date have come from eight different players, so they're not reliant on someone like Sean Maguire.

Bohs just need anyone to score and this run of five league games - six in all competitions - without a goal is a big worry, especially as Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic lie in wait before the mid-season break.

They looked for an injection of life here last night, subs Aymen Ben Mohamed and Mark Quigley thrown into action early in the second half.

Ismahil Akinade was also sprung from the bench following a month out with injury, but a resolute Cork were fully in control and City almost had a second goal on 70 minutes, Bolger testing Delany with a shot from distance. Karl Sheppard should really have scored 15 minutes from time when he was set up following a good run by Buckley.

Quigley didn't even see out the game as he was shown a straight red card for a foul on Sheppard with 10 minutes to go, a grim end to a grim night for the home side while a confident Cork march on.

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