Report: Rovers 2-2 Cork City

The Bit O’ Red welcomed Cork City to The Showgrounds on Saturday night in the second home game in five days for John Russell and his squad.

The visitors came into the game on the back of an enthralling 4-4 draw against Shamrock Rovers on Monday night with Rovers beating St. Patrick’s Athletic at the same time here at home.

Manager John Russell brought in Eanna Clancy for the suspended John Mahon and Lukas Browning replaced Niall Morahan in midfield in the side’s only two changes from Monday.

The game started even with Rovers pressing forward, building play up from the back trying to piece together some opportunities which were few and far between for both sides.

The visitors got a corner on 18 minutes and they took the lead after a goal mouth scramble was eventually turned home from close range by defender Jonas Hakkinen.

Rovers had chances after that through Fabrice Hartmann and Stefan Radosavljevic but they couldn’t make their possession pay and it remained 1-0 to City at the break.

Kailin Barlow was introduced for Greg Bolger at the interval as John Russell tried to change his side to get back on level terms.

Barlow had half a chance before the hour mark when his shot went wide after being teed up by Max Mata on the edge of the area.

Former Rovers Academy graduate and first team player Ruairi Keating doubled his side’s lead on 65 minutes. The powerful striker turned on the edge of the area and struck a left footed effort past Luke McNicholas which went in off the post.

Frank Liivak and Bogdan Vastsuk replaced Will Fitzgerald and Radosavljevic for the last twenty minutes or so and it was all Rovers at this point.

The home side made pressure pay on 79 minutes when Johan Brannefalk’s corner was smashed home by Eanna Clancy for his first ever senior goal much to the delight of the home crowd.

Nando Pijnaker went close moments later from a header from another corner and Rovers piled the pressure on the visitors late on.

The fourth official showed five extra minutes on the board at the end of the game and it was enough to bring a valuable leveller for Rovers.

Kailin Barlow broke into the box before being bundled over and the referee made no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Max Mata was the coolest man in The Showgrounds as he fired his effort into the top right hand corner.

Rovers went close to winning it when Hartmann’s late free kick was saved by the City goalkeeper and the referee ended the game soon after.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to take on Derry City on Friday.