Shamrock Rovers 5-1 Cork City
Stephen Rice’s lads gave a very impressive performance this afternoon against last season’s champions Cork City. The game was staged at Roadstone; the goalscorers were Danila Bogdanov (2), James Clarke, Jack Kelly and Dean McMenamy.
The Hoops lined out as follows: 1. Gavin Bazunu, 2. Martins Olakanye, 3. Alex Dunne, 4. Andy Spain, 6. Conor Behan, 8. Thomas Hannon, 9. Danila Bogdanov, 10. James Clarke, 11. Jack Kelly, 16. Luke Turner, 17. Jordan Tallon. Substitutes: 25. Shane O’Rourke (for Bazunu 76 mins), 7. Dean McMenamy (for Kelly 71 mins), 19. Toby Owens (for Behan 76 mins).
Make no mistake about it, this was a team performance but three players in particular, James Clarke, Jack Kelly and Danila Bogdanov proved to be a right handful each for the visitors to deal with.
Clarke has started in both games played so far this season and is showing his true potential. Bogdanov was a thorn in the side of Limerick last Saturday as he indeed also was today and Kelly seems to be enjoying a new lease of life playing up front along the other striker.
The opening goal was scored in the 13th minute. Kelly, causing all sorts of problems with his wide runs was denied by Cork ‘keeper Cian Hogan but when the ball broke loose in the box Bogdanov got the all important touch to drive it over the line.
Just two minutes later Bogdanov turned provider when he swung the ball over from the end line to where it was met by Clarke who made no mistake in putting it away to make it 2-0.
The third and killer goal was scored in the 37th minute after Kelly went on a great run from within his own half to pick out Bogdanov who secured his brace.
City got one back three minutes after the restart when a bit of hesitancy in the Hoops’ defence allowed Josh Lombardi to nip in and chip Bazunu.
Jamie O’Sullivan then shot over the bar for Cork.
A quick move from Rovers all the way from the back out in the 62nd minute again saw Bogdanov involved as he sent Kelly on a fantastic run down the right and this resulted in goal number four which Kelly finished with a great strike into the net.
On the hour mark Kelly again had a super chance when he beat Hogan but Eviston Rrmani covered well and took the ball off the line.
Dean McMenamy had been introduced to the action just two minutes before he headed the Hoops into a 5-1 lead and who, yet again, was the provider? Only that man Bogdanov! The Russian-born striker was denied his hat trick in the 78th minute with a point blank save from Hogan.
City might have got another back late in the game but there was some brilliant defending from the impressive Alex Dunne when he closed down Ricardo Dinanga forcing the Cork player to hit high over the bar.
The football from Rovers throughout was simply brilliant but next weekend they will take a break as there are no fixtures scheduled for the Easter weekend.
Match report and photos by Robert Goggins