Cork City put their financial troubles to one side last night with Dan Murray's first-half goal giving them a 1-0 win over Derry City at Turners Cross.
The Revenue Commissioners issued a petition to wind up the clubs holding company earlier this week, but there were few signs of any off-the-field troubles on Leeside as Paul Doolin’s side opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Derry were unchanged from last weekend’s 3-2 win over Bohemians, so there was no place in the squad for ex-Cork winger Liam Kearney. The home side, meanwhile, had to plan without Danny Murphy, Neal Horgan, Billy Dennehy and Shane Duggan.
On the half-hour mark, Derry striker Sammy Morrow’s cross found Mark Farren unmarked at the back post but his header was brilliantly saved by Dan Connor, with Steven Gray blasting his effort over the crossbar from the resultant corner-kick.
The breakthrough arrived in the 40th minute and it went the way of the home side. Colin Healy’s free-kick from the right was headed back across the goal by Greg O’Halloran, allowing Dan Murray to finish to an empty net.
Derry were reduced to ten men in the 52nd minute when Mark McChrystal was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Healy.
In spite of Cork’s one-man advantage, the visitors battled bravely to get back on level terms but they were unable to carve open a rigid home defence. Cork midfielder Stephen O’Donnell received a red card on his home debut for dissent in injury-time, but the Leesiders managed to hang on.
Cork City: Connor; Sullivan, Mezeckis (Kiely, 52), Murray, OHalloran; Lordan, Healy, Gamble; Silagailis (O'Donnell, 75), Behan, Kuduzovic.
Derry City: Doherty; McCallion, Hutton, McChrystal, Gray; Deery, Molloy (Higgins, 75), Martyn, Stewart; Morrow (McManus, HT), Farren (McLean, 75).
Referee: D Hanney (Dublin).