Belfast Telegraph

Toal gets the ball rolling as Derry net deserved win

Derry City 2 Cork 0

Crucial touch: Eoin Toal scores Derry City’s first goal past Cork goalkeeper Mark McNulty
Crucial touch: Eoin Toal scores Derry City’s first goal past Cork goalkeeper Mark McNulty

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City got back to winning ways with a thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory over 10-man Cork City at the Brandywell last night.

It is now seven league games without a win for John Caulfield's side but that will matter little to Derry, who were on top of their game as they picked up their first league victory over Cork since March 2016.

The first goal in this one was always going to be important and it went Derry's way on 22 minutes.

Junior produced a brilliant run from his own half and won his team a free-kick 25 yards from goal. The Derry players crowded the Cork penalty area and Jamie McDonagh's delivery went right to the back post, where Eoin Toal beat Mark McNulty to the ball and scooped it over the line.

The Candystripes could have doubled their lead just three minutes after the restart when a sensational cross in from McDonagh caused chaos in the Cork defence and Darren Cole, Junior and David Parkhouse all threw themselves at the ball, but it somehow stayed out.

Cork needed to be better and Garry Buckley almost took advantage when Barry McNamee lost possession. He raced 50 yards and tried his luck with an effort which had to be pushed behind by Peter Cherrie.

It really should have been 2-0 Derry on 67 minutes when McNamee's free-kick into the Cork area found Toal completely unmarked but instead of going for the header, he inexplicably went for it with his foot and missed completely and Cork survived.

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Derry almost lived to rue that miss as Cork went down the other end and won a corner. McCarthy beat Cherrie to the cross, only for Ciaron Harkin to clear.

The game was end to end as it entered the final 20 minutes and Cole, fresh from his wonder goal against Waterford, went on a surging run forward before looking for the bottom corner only for McNulty to push behind.

Derry missed a great chance to seal the points on 78 minutes. McNamee exchanged passes with Junior before being fouled in the area by Conor McCormack. Referee Rob Harvey pointed to the penalty spot and dismissed the Cork man for a second caution.

When the dust settled, McDonagh took the spot-kick but saw his effort saved by McNulty before Junior blazed the rebound over the crossbar.

Cork immediately raced down the other end and could have levelled but Cherrie was equal to James Tilley's effort.

The game was finally ended on 89 minutes when Derry attacked in numbers and Harkin laid the ball off for McDonagh on the edge of the area. He drilled it low past McNulty and into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Cork were out on their feet after that, with the Candystripes looking more likely to add to their lead, with both Junior and Parkhouse going close.

Derry City: Cherrie, Coll, McClean, Toal, Cole, Harkin, McNamee, Sloggett, Ogedi-Uzokwe, McDonagh, Parkhouse (Stokes 90).

Cork City: McNulty, Griffin, McLoughlin, Casey, McCarthy, McCormack, Buckley, O'Connor (Smith 45'), Sheppard (Crowley 82'), Tilley, Rainsford.

Referee: Rob Harvey.

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