Beineoin O’Brien-Whitmarsh scored his first goal of the season in relegated Cork City’s final Premier Division game until at least 2022 as Derry City clung on with dear life to seal their top flight survival at Turners Cross with the most precious of
Beineoin O’Brien-Whitmarsh scored his first goal of the season in relegated Cork City’s final Premier Division game until at least 2022 as Derry City clung on with dear life to seal their top flight survival at Turners Cross with the most precious of points.
Derry counterpart Declan Devine can thank his lucky stars for Oluwaseun Akintunde’s 76th minute equaliser, the goal and the draw guaranteeing safety via a one-point cushion over Shelbourne, who must now face Longford Town for the final Premier spot for next season.
The Rebels head for the First Division on the back of only their 11th point of the season but at least caretaker boss Colin Healy can take heart from a spirited performance by his relegated side as they look to rebuild under new ownership.
O’Brien-Whitmarsh grabbed the opening goal at the Cross in the 58th minute after he was fed inside the Derry box by captain Gearoid Morrissey and finished smartly past Candystripes ‘keeper Peter Cherrie.
There should have been more than one goal at that stage as the season came to a rain-driven close on Leeside. Jake O’Brien had a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside in the 14th minute as Cork enjoyed the brighter start of two sides stuck in the wrong half of the table.
Derry did improve before the break. Akintunde’s shot deflected for a corner on the half hour before Conor Clifford rattled the post with Mark McNulty beaten all ends up. It was the home side who finally broke the deadlock via O’Brien-Whitmarsh before Cian Bargary missed an open goal after a gift from Cherrie in the 68th minute.
That miss woke Derry from their slumbers and they were level eight minutes later thanks to Akintunde’s header from a fine Adam Hamill cross. Dominant in the closing stages, it was former Cork schemer Conor McCormack who should have won it for Derry four minutes from time as he turned another Hamill cross wide with McNulty beaten.
Cian Coleman and substitute Cian Murphy threatened the Derry goal in the last play of the night but it ended with honours even and the Candystripes’ Premier Division status safe for next year.