Rovers 0-2 Cork - Report
Cork City returned to the top of the table with a hard-fought win over a plucky Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.
Kieran Sadlier returned to haunt his former employers as he netted in the opening minute. Ger Lyttle's side pushed the Rebels hard in the second half but were unable to find the net.
Graham Cummins secured the win and the points for Cork ten minutes from time.
City hit the lead with just 52 seconds played.
Captain Kyle Callan-McFadden, who was stretched off with a head injury soon after, hesitated in his efforts to clear the ball from danger. Possession falling to Garry Buckley who teed up Sadlier. The former Irish underage international planting the ball into the far corner of Mitchell Beeney's net for his second goal at the Showgrounds this year.
Sean McLoughlin headed narrowly over from Sadlier's set-piece in the tenth minute, before Callan-McFadden came off the worst, after he clashed heads with Graham Cummins.
Both Buckley and Rhys McCabe went close at either end as Rovers began to cause City concern.
Buckley again mis-fired from close range when unmarked just past the half hour, while Sligo had the ball in the net nine minutes from the break. The referee's assistant however ruling the goal out, the ball running out of play at the end line as David Cawley squared for Ali Roy.
Cawley himself squandered a magnificent chance to level the game in added time. The Mayo man could only sky his volley with the goal at his mercy.
A rallying Rovers enjoyed the better of the early offerings of the second period but couldn't find that elusive killer ball in the final third. Raff Cretaro's introduction to the Sligo attack making a marked difference.
From Rovers' most senior player to their least experienced and it was substitute Liam Kerrigan on just his second outing for the club who almost found the equaliser.
Twelve minutes from time, Regan Donelon wriggled around his marker before finding Kerrigan who was denied by McNulty as he flicked the youngster's effort on to his crossbar.
Cruelly for Sligo, Cork put the game beyond doubt against the run of play on 80 minutes. Cummins stretching the neck muscles as he nodded Steven Beattie's cross over Beeney's stretch.
Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Seamus Sharkey, Kyle Callan-McFadden (Regan Donelon 16), John Mahon, Patrick McClean; David Cawley, Rhys McCabe; Adam Wixted, Ali Roy (Liam Kerrigan 77), Caolan McAleer (Raff Cretaro 61); Lewis Morrison.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan (Shane Griffin HT), Alan Bennett, Sean McLoughlin, Danny Kane (Steven Beattie 70); Jimmy Keohane, Conor McCormack; Karl Sheppard, Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier (Barry McNamee 81); Graham Cummins.
Referee: Rob Rogers