UCD 3-0 Cork City - McMillan double boosts Students' safety bid
The striker brought his tally to twelve for the season with two goals as the Students ended a woeful run and heaped more misery on the Rebels and their manager Tommy Dunne
By Ryan Bailey
UCD ended a run of three successive league defeats on Friday evening with a 3-0 victory over struggling Cork City at the Belfield Bowl as the Airtricity League resumed after the mid-season break.
David McMillan struck in either half before Hugh Douglas added a third to ensure the hosts took the spoils and in the process create some daylight between themselves and the foot of the table after a dreadful end to the first half of the campaign.
Martin Russell’s side shipped five goals in each of their last three games before the two week interval but three hard earned points against the Rebels was exactly what the doctor ordered considering the form of others around them.
The visitors were without influential centre-back Dan Murray and his absence was evident from the outset as the Students hit the front inside just thirty seconds. The City defence was nowhere to be seen as Robbie Benson initially teed up Robbie Creevy before McMillan pounced to fire home the loose ball.
The pressure on Tommy Dunne’s side eased after the narrow win over Drogheda last time out but it was a result which just papered over the cracks as their defensive shortcomings were ruthlessly exposed as the Students ran riot in the opening exchanges.
Sean Russell’s sweetly struck effort was cleared off the line after some nice inter-play on the edge of the area before Gareth Matthews saw his free-kick sail just over the bar.
Despite finding themselves on the back-foot and trailing from the off, Cork eventually settled into the game and looked dangerous as they searched for the equaliser.
Daryl Horgan’s glancing header was straight at recalled ‘keeper Mark McGinley and Shane Duggan should have done much better with his volley after being found unmarked with just the UCD shot stopper to beat.
The half-time whistle came at the wrong time for the Leesiders after dominating proceedings since the twentieth minute but they were made to pay for not making their possession count after the interval.
McMillan created a yard of space and after a quick glance at the target, let fly from thirty-yards, giving Mark McNulty no chance.
Cork attempted to find a way back into the game in the final half hour but couldn’t muster anything to test a vunerable looking college rear-guard.
In fact it was UCD who looked more likely to score a third and Russell went close with a low free-kick before Douglas rose highest to head substitute Samir Belhout’s corner home.
The victory moves UCD up to seventeen points and ahead of Bohemians into tenth position while Cork’s season continues to go from bad to worse with the Rebels being sucked into a relegation battle with every poor result.
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