Shamrock Rovers have three sent off as Cork hit late winner on crazy night in Turner’s Cross

Cork City 1 Shamrock Rovers 0

Johnny Kenny of Shamrock Rovers is shown a red card by referee Sean Grant

Stephen Barry

A crazy night at Turner’s Cross ended with Shamrock Rovers seeing red three times before Cork City landed a late winner against eight men.

Ruairí Keating provided the goal in front of 4,240 fans after referee Seán Grant waved red cards towards Richie Towell (37th minute), John Kenny (61th), and Seán Hoare (63rd).

Towell was first to go on a straight red after a corner-kick incident which left Gordon Walker on the ground. After consulting with his assistant, Grant gave Towell his marching orders but deemed the offence to have taken place after the ball went out of play, with no penalty awarded.

They were reduced to nine just after the hour-mark as substitute Kenny’s day lasted little more than four minutes. He was booked for dissent towards the linesman within seconds of his introduction before being sent off for a late tackle.

And then they were eight when Hoare picked up back-to-back yellows in the 63rd minute either side of a throw-in; one for dissent, the other for a high boot.

Rovers’ formation rotated between 3-3-1 and 4-3-0 from there to the end but they could only hold out as far as the 85th minute.

Sweet combination play from City’s Swedes, Daniel Krezic and Kevin Čustović, and Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh created the space, with Čustović crossing for Keating’s seventh of the season.

Back-to-back wins still leave the Rebel Army ninth, while Derry City can move four clear of Rovers at the top if they overcome Sligo on Saturday.

The visitors’ wayward shooting cost them dearly against Drogheda last time out, spraying 21 shots off target. As they asserted their first-half superiority, similar inaccuracies were evident.

Of their first six shots, none caused Jimmy Corcoran to break a sweat, with a Gary O’Neill half-volley over the bar coming closest.

The City keeper’s first proper exertion came shortly after, Towell onto a through ball but met by Corcoran racing off his line.

Towell’s dismissal changed the game and City’s best two chances against 10 men fell to Walker, who couldn’t direct either on target.

Up against eight, it was Keating who looked most likely to profit and he would provide the killer blow.

CORK CITY: J Corcoran; D Crowley, J Häkkinen, J Honohan; G Walker (J O’Donovan 83), B Coffey (D Krezic 68), A Bolger, K Čustović; J O’Brien-Whitmarsh; R Keating, T Owolabi (C Murphy 83).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: L Pöhls; D Cleary, R Lopes, S Hoare; N Farrugia (R Finn 68), G O’Neill, M Poom (D Nugent 77), S Kavanagh; R Towell, R Gaffney (J Kenny 56), J Byrne (A Greene 77).

Referee: S Grant.

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