Rovers earn point in Cork

Sligo Rovers earned a point against Cork City in Turner’s Cross on Monday evening in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

Liam Buckley made three changes to the Sligo starting 11 which lost narrowly to St Patricks Athletic at Richmond Park three days previous with Sam Warde, Kris Twardek and Liam Kerrigan taking the places of Daryl Fordyce, Jack Keaney and Romeo Parkes.

Rovers created the game’s first meaningful goal scoring opportunity in the eighth minute but Ronan Coughlan – on his return to the club he left in the off season – could only fire Kris Twardek’s cross over the bar.

John Caulfield made two alterations to his side that was beaten 2-0 by Waterford last Friday night with Garry Comerford and Karl Sheppard replacing Gearoid Morrissey and Darragh Crowley.

Sheppard had City’s first real effort on goal with 17 minutes on the clock but his weak header from Comerford’s cross was easily collected by goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney.

Following an uneventful opening, the game sparked into life midway through the first half as both sides squandered good chances to edge into the lead.

Graham Cummins could only blast over from a great position after the ball broke kindly to him in the area moments before Ronan Coughlan planted his free header straight at a relieved Mark McNulty.

Cummins had the final chance of a poor first half deep into injury time but the City number nine couldn’t find the net with his header from Karl Sheppard’s delivery.

The Leesiders received a roar of encouragement from the majority of the 2,302 crowd in attendance as they headed for the dressing room at half- time but it didn’t have the desired effect as their side remained sluggish in the second period.

They did almost break the deadlock in the 55th minute but Sean McLoughlin couldn’t connect properly with his close-range attempt after Beeney fumbled James Tilley’s inswinging free kick.

Caulfield introduced Daire O’Connor just past the hour as he looked to give his side a bit more creativity in attacking areas.

The winger went close to scoring not long after emerging from the bench but he drilled his shot into the side net from a difficult angle.

Coughlan rattled the woodwork from a tight angle – although McNulty looked to have it covered – moments later but Cork soon regrouped as they went in search of a winner.

Garry Buckley saw his header saved with 16 minutes remaining but their best chance of grabbing the game’s crucial first goal and securing their second home win of the campaign fell to substitute Darragh Rainsford in the closing stages.

The attacker expertly controlled Shane Griffin’s ball over the top of the defence but he blasted his shot straight at Beeney when through one on one with the shot-stopper as Rovers hung on to claim a point.

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; James Tilley (Darragh Rainsford 77), Conor McCormack, Garry Comerford (Daire O’Connor 66), Garry Buckley; Karl Sheppard, Graham Cummins (Darragh Crowley 72).

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Johnny Dunleavy, Dante Leverock (John Russell 51), John Mahon, Lewis Banks; Sam Warde, Niall Morahan, David Cawley, Liam Kerrigan (Jack Keaney 70); Ronan Coughlan, Kris Twardek (Brian Morley 88).

Referee: Ray Matthews