Southend United 2; Cork City 3
Following their superb victory over Newcastle West the previous week, Southend were dreadfully unlucky to bow out to Cork City in Ballybeg on Saturday last.
Two unfortunate OGs broke the hearts of this talented United team who did not deserve to lose. The visitors got what every team needs when they were on the ropes, a huge slice of luck. With 12 minutes to go Sean Stokes raced onto a pass from Joe Fitzpatrick; the ball seemed to be going wide but Paddy Barrett in his haste to clear could only bundle the ball into his own net and Cork City were through to the semi-finals.
It was rough justice on the Waterford lads because for long periods they were by far the best team on view. It is hard to take but as we all know football can be a very cruel game.
We had to wait until the 20th minute for the first chance. Glen Hawe swung in a cross to the far post and Stuart Mitchell headed back across the face of goal but as Sean O’Loughlin closed in City centre-back Keith O’Sullivan cleared the danger.
On 27 minutes Craig Keane, who had a powerful game in middle of the park, took on the Cork defence but his shot was just wide of the near post with goalkeeper Alan Burns beaten.
On the half-hour mark Cork took the lead with a goal against the run of play. Southend were on the attack but a defensive header by big Kalen Spillane fell to the feet of Paul Mullins and he slipped a clever ball into the run of Gavin Daly who beat the advancing Richie Roche with a fine finish.
For full story see our print edition.