Morrissey fires Cork into Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Final
Striker Morrissey capped a rare start with a second half winner at the Carlisle Grounds as John Caulfield’s side set up a date with Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium on November 8.
Though second best for good spells of the game, Bray battled to the death and might have forced a replay, but for a terrific late stop from Cork keeper Mark McNulty from Wanderers’ substitute Emeka Onwubiko.
A lively start to the game saw Cork create the opening chance after just two minutes with Darren Dennehy glancing his header wide from Liam Miller’s first corner of the game.
But it was Cork’s McNulty who was the first keeper to be worked as he got down smartly to hold a low drive from Adam Hanlon from Adam Wixted’s low cross from the left.
Bray’s Peter Cherrie was then well positioned at his left-hand post at the other end within a minute to gather Morrissey’s volley after the striker latched onto a ball over the top.
Cork, though, really should have been ahead on 26 minutes from the move of the first half.
Billy Dennehy’s sublime ball put Ross Gaynor in on goal. Cherrie did well to parry the City left-back’s shot. But the danger remained as Karl Sheppard got possession, got the ball onto his right foot, only to contrive to shoot over the bar from 10 yards out.
Bray countered immediately with Ryan McEvoy also failing to keep his shot down after Chris Lyons did well to set him up with a cross from the left.
The ball was in the Bray net on 36 minutes, but Sheppard was flagged offside before he had set up Morrissey to tap in.
If somewhat cagey, Cork remained the better side into the second half, carving another good chance six minutes in.
Birthday boy Alan Bennett dinked a fine ball over the top for the run of Morrissey down the inside right channel. The finish was poor, though, as he shot wide when he should have hit the target.
When they did get an effort on target, from the influential Garry Buckley’s bouncing volley from Gaynor’s cross, Cherrie showed his reflexes to tip the ball over the his crossbar.
Their confidence having steadily built, Cork duly took the lead for what proved the winner on 59 minutes.
McNulty’s long clearance appeared to get a flick on from Buckley.
Morrissey raced through to beat the out-rushing Cherrie to the ball to force it to the net, aggravating a hamstring injury in the process.
Well on top now, Cork were deprived a second goal on 71 minutes by yet another fine save from Cherrie who tipped over substitute John O’Flynn’s header from Buckley’s fine left wing cross.
Bray rallied late on with Bennett making a telling block from a Lyons shot before Graham Kelly was narrowly wide with a drive from distance.
Onwubiko might then have levelled on 88 minutes, but his close range volley from fellow substitute Peter McGlynn’s cross was brilliantly parried away by McNulty.
Bray Wanderers: Cherrie; Douglas, McNally, Cooney, Barker; Fitzpatrick (Scully 75); Hanlon (Onwubiko 80), Kelly, McEvoy, Wixted (McGlynn 66); Lyons.
Cork City: McNulty; Dunleavy, Bennett, D. Dennehy, Gaynor; Miller (Holohan 82), Murray; B. Denney (O‘Connor 76), Buckley, Sheppard; Morrissey (O‘Flynn 59).
Referee: Neil Doyle.