The Bit O’ Red suffered a third straight Men’s Premier Division defeat on Friday night after Cork City scored the only goal in a tight game at Turners Cross.
John Russell welcomed back John Mahon into the back four after a recent injury and Kailin Barlow started in midfield alongside Greg Bolger and the also returning Niall Morahan. Bogdan Vastsuk, Lukas Browning and Daniel Lafferty were among the subs having started against Shelbourne last weekend.
Both sides had plenty of possession in the first period of the game with little or no goalmouth action until former Rovers Academy graduate Ruairi Keating broke into the penalty area on 15 minutes to fire past Luke McNicholas in the hosts first chance of the evening after a period of good build up play.
Rovers failed to create many chances of note in the first half with Nando Pijnaker firing a cross across goal which was gathered by Jimmy Corcoran in the Cork goal and Frank Liivak shooting from just inside the area after cutting in from the right hand side.
Fabrice Hartmann and David Cawley were brought on at half-time in place of Stefan Radosavljevic and Barlow as John Russell looked to get back into the game.
Rovers did have plenty of second half possession and Hartmann looked bright on the right hand side, creating a couple of half chances and cutting in on his left foot and shooting straight at Corcoran on a couple of occasions.
Niall Morahan, Reece Hutchinson and Cawley all had long range efforts which didn’t trouble the City net minder and Rovers pushed everything forward leaving ourselves vulnerable on the counter attack where the hosts looked threatening throughout with Keating and Tunde Owalabi’s pace causing problems for the Bit O’ Red back four.
Daniel Lafferty and Lukas Browning were introduced late on in place of Johan Brannefalk and Liivak but it wasn’t to be and Rovers were narrowly beaten.
Next up is a home game with Derry City next Saturday evening at 7.45pm at The Showgrounds.