Report: Ryan McMullen

Two impressive goals see the Hoops get back to winning ways against Cork City in Tallaght.

Following Thursday’s European exit to Ferencvàros, Hoops boss Stephen Bradley made 5 changes to his starting lineup. Alan Mannus returned in goal replacing Leon Pohls, Sean Kavanagh started on the left replacing the injured Sean Hoare. Ronan Finn, Dylan Watts and Liam Burt also made the team coming in for Sean Gannon, Kieran Cruise and Conan Noonan.

Rovers had the majority of the ball in the opening stages of the game but it wasn’t till the 19th minute that the first chance of the game came and when it did it came to the Hoops. The ball fell to Graham Burke at the edge of the box following a clearance from a Ronan Finn cross, Burke came close as his first-time shot hit off the left-hand post.

Liam Burt had started the game very well and shortly after Burke’s chance he had one himself. The Scot received the ball inside the box from Johnny Kenny and took a touch forward before having a shot which saw Byrne in the Cork goal get down to his right to make the save before the ball was ultimately cleared by Josh Honahan.

The Hoops were finally rewarded for their efforts 29 minutes in when Graham Burke found the ball at the edge of the box, Burke skilfully found an opening in the Cork defence and took a shot that went right into the left-hand corner beating Byrne this time.

Cork responded and were level shortly after when a Barry Coffey free kick from distance found its way past Mannus to level the scores going in at the break.

Just after the break, Liam Burt was finally rewarded with a goal his performance deserved. Picking the ball up midway in the Cork half, Burt drove at the Cork defence before cleverly dropping a shoulder to work a yard of space at the edge of the box. The attacker then opened his body and side-footed home his first goal for the Club to restore the lead. An excellent finish.

The Hoops were playing with confidence and continued to push for a third goal. Burke came very close on 69 minutes when he took a shot from a free kick that was won just outside the box, his shot forced Byrne to get down low to his left, ceasing the danger for the visitors. While Estonian international Markus Poom, playing in an unfamiliar left wing-back role, was unlucky when his shot went just wide of the target 78 minutes in.

Cork managed to create some half chances in the closing stages but despite the pressure Rovers defended well and managed to see the game out to secure a 2-1 win in front of the home crowd.

Next up for Stephen Bradley’s side is a trip to Tolka Park to take on Shelbourne next Friday (August 11th) with kick-off set for 7:45 pm.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Cleary, Lopes, Kavanagh, Poom, Watts (Towell 65’), Finn © (Nugent 77’), O’Neill, Burt (Greene 86’), Burke, Kenny (Gaffney 65’)

Shamrock Rovers unused substitutes: Pohls, Cruise, Lennox, Noonan, Razi.

Cork City: Byrne, Custovic, Coleman ©, Drinan, Honohan, Bolger, Coffey, Kabia (Fitzpatrick 72’), Stanulevicius (Worman 77’), Bargary, Owolabi.

Cork City unused substitutes: Walker, Crowe, Corcoran, O’Donovan, Healy, Henderson, Bowman.