Roy's boys un-Corked

Cork City 2 Ipswich Town 0ROY Keane was denied a happy return to Cork City as his sluggish Ipswich Town side were handed a defeat and another good pre-season work out.

Derek Davis

Cork City 2 Ipswich Town 0

ROY Keane was denied a happy return to Cork City as his sluggish Ipswich Town side were handed a defeat and another good pre-season work out.

Goals from Fahrudin Kuduzovic and David O'Neill did for the Blues who have lost two of their three games in Ireland this summer.

Cork, third in the League of Ireland Premier League and half way through their season, were that much sharper, determined and better than Town who are at the mid-point of their pre-season training.

Keane, who was given a fabulous reception from the 3,252 crowd, made nine changes from the side that beat Waterford United with just Owen Garvan and Pim Balkestein keeping their places.

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Skippered by Jon Stead the Blues had a couple of decent chances but failed to take them and that proved costly when they lost out to a dubious penalty

Connor Wickham had a good chance early on when he got past full debut-making centre back Shane Long but took a touch too many and his shot was blocked for a corner.

The 16-year-old is making a strong claim for a starting place come the new season with Jordan Rhodes who replaced him in the second half also pushing hard.

Dan Connor made a good save from a left-footed Stead effort and the follow up on the right foot was over the bar.

Shane Supple was alert to a low cross from Billy Denney and was out again quickly to take the ball away from Latvian striker Guntars Silagailis before he could get on the end of a neat ball through.

Timmy Kiely was denied by a well timed Balkestein tackle while his centre half partner Tommy Smith cleverly eased Bosnian Fahrudin Kuduzovic off the ball as he was about to finish.

Smith was caught out by the Bosnian though four minutes into the second half when Kuduzovic turned him as he latched on to a Pat Sullivan throw in and the young Town defender was judged to have given him a little tug on the back of his shirt and the striker made the most of it. Although he took his time going down in dramatic fashion the Cork-based referee awarded the penalty which Kuduzovic took himself and hit it perfectly into a top corner giving Supple no chance even though he went the right way.

Town made second half changes looking for the equaliser and Balkestein was thwarted by substitute keeper Mark McNulty when he tried a looping header.

Rhodes blazed high and wide as he tried for a top corner and moments later City grabbed their second.

A long ball from McNulty fell for Davin O'Neill who raced between Smith and Veliche Shumulikoski and neatly tucked the ball past Supple five minutes from time.

A large 'Lowestoft Blues' flag was hung alongside a banner hailing 'Failte Keano' meaning welcome Keano behind the 150 or so travelling Town supporters who had enjoyed the craic in the most hospitable city of Cork.

It was a big day for 11-year-old Blues fan Connor Murray, who lives in Mitchelstown near Cork, as he was mascot for the day and got to meet his hero Owen Garvan and watch the Dubliner play an hour.

Cork City: Connor, Horgan, Long (O'Halloran, 78) Murray, Murphy, Kiely (Cambridge, 46) O'Donnell, Lordan, Dennehy (Sullivan, 46) Kuduzovic, Siagailis (O'Neill, 46). Subs not used: Mulcahy, McNulty, S Duggan, Deasy, C Duggan.

Ipswich Town: Supple, Wright (Bruce, 58) Smith, Balkestein, Delaney. Walters (Lisbie, 58) Trotter (Shumulikoski, 58) Garvan (Norris, 58) Martin, Wickham (Rhodes, 77) Stead. Subs not used: Wright, McAuley, Quinn, O'Connor.

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork) Attendance: 3,252