A Daryl Kavanagh strike and a Shane Duggan wonder goal late on saw Cork City battle back to earn the three points against a spirited UCD side
Having being widely fancied before the game, Cork City needed a Daryl Kavanagh strike and a late Shane Duggan goal to cancel out David McMillan’s early header to ensure the Leesiders recorded a valuable win after UCD missed a penalty.
The game started rather tamely with neither side doing enough to create an early goalscoring opportunity. Early momentum wasn’t helped by a lengthy stoppage which saw fourth official Alan Kelly called upon to replace the injured linesman Ralph Pieper who pulled up with a calf injury.
However, the first meaningful opportunity yielded a goal and it was UCD frontman David McMillan who scored - doing well to get his head on the end of a superb Samir Belhout cross directing it into the bottom right corner.
The goal was a real hammer blow to the home side, who continued to struggle to keep possession throughout the first half. It wasn’t until the 35th minute that Cork City created a genuine goal scoring opportunity and it easily could have resulted in the equaliser. Adam Rundle’s deep cross found Daryl Horgan, but his powerful header was somehow stopped at point black range by goalkeeper Mark McGinley.
City were almost made to pay for that miss shortly before the half-time break but UCD midfielder Gary Burke could only direct his half volley straight at the keeper after a brilliant header from Belhout played him in on goal.
With virtually the last kick of the half Cork City snatched a rather undeserved equaliser. A deflected shot in the area from City’s Daryl Horgan fell kindly to Daryl Kavanagh who made no mistake, side footing the ball past the keeper from close range.
The goal failed to give City the impetus that they craved as they struggled to find a way through the resilient UCD rearguard after the interval. The Dubliners threatened on the break and were handed a glorious opportunity to retake the lead when David McMillan was brought down by Mark McNulty.
McMillan dusted himself down and fired his poorly-taken penalty straight at the relieved McNulty. City’s Danny Furlong missed a fantastic chance before in injury time, but Shane Duggan fired a sensational winner into the roof of the net to help kick start City’s campaign.
UCD remain rooted to the bottom of the table, and have now gone seven games without a win.