City U17s outclassed by clinical Rovers
SHAMROCK ROVERS U17……………………5
CORK CITY U17…………………………………1
CORK CITY fell to a second consecutive defeat in the SSE Airtricity League U17 (Southern Elite) Division at Roadstone on Saturday afternoon, after they were out-classed by a vastly-superior Shamrock Rovers.
Following a 2-0 opening day reversal at home to Bray Wanderers, the Leesiders were aiming to bounce back in the Hoops’ Academy base.
They initially held their ground against a Rovers’ side that deployed a 3-5-2, only for the hosts to break the deadlock in the 14th-minute. Though Cian Hogan turned away a Jack Kelly effort, Danila Bogdanovs poked home the rebound.
It went from bad to worse for the visitors, as they conceded a second goal in the space of 60 seconds. Alex Dunne picked out James Clarke and he fired past the helpless Hogan with a crisp right-footed finish. The forced withdrawal of centre-back Colin Hanifin on 24 minutes was a set-back for City, who were staring into a three-goal deficit by the end of the half.
Bogdanov was picked out at the end of a powerful run by Clarke and the dynamic Rovers centre-forward unleashed an unstoppable shot in the bottom left-hand corner.
With Josh Lombardi joining substitute James Hickey on the field for the start of the second half, the City line-up was radically different from the one that started the game. Ricardo Dinanga was switched to the left-wing to accommodate Lombardi in a lone striker role.
This looked like being a shrewd move by Brendan O’Sullivan, as they narrowed the gap within four minutes of the restart. After racing onto a long-ball, Lombardi opened the City account by chipping Rovers’ custodian Gavin Bazunu.
However, when he found himself one-on-one with Hogan moments later, Kelly secured Rovers’ fourth goal. This ended any hopes of a City fightback in the closing stages, when the tempo of the game dropped considerably.
Dinanga was narrowly off-target on a couple of occasions, but it was Rovers who had the finally on 73 minutes – Dean McMenamy shooting past Hogan with his first touch of the proceedings.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Gavin Bazunu (Shane O’Rourke 77); Andrew Spain, Jordan Tallon, Luke Turner; Alex Dunne, Conor Behan (Toby Owens 77), Thomas Hannon, James Clarke, Martins Olakanye; Danila Bogdanovs, Jack Kelly (Dean McMenamy 72).
CORK CITY: Cian Hogan; Jamie O’Sullivan, Jake O’Brien, Colin Hanifin (James Hickey 24 (Daragh Connell 54), Josh Hudner; Oran Daly, Evison Rramani; Adam Hunt (Luke Desmond 70), Matthew O’Reilly, Alex Minihane (Josh Lombardi 46); Ricardo Dinanga.
Referee: Thomas Dempsey (Dublin).