Two goals down after only seven minutes, Finn Harps must have been fearing the worst at Turner's Cross on Friday night.
CORK CITY 3
FINN HARPS 1
Their situation got no better when two players, Raymond Foy and Adam Hanlon, were forced off because of injury before the half hour.
But credit to Harps, they might not have taken anything from this game, but they did produce a battling performance against a Cork side who were threatening to dish out a hammering early on.
“In fairness, there will be better teams than us who'll be on the end of bigger defeats in Cork this season,” Ollie Horgan said afterwards.
“We'd a horrible start. It's bad enough losing two goals early on, but we lost two of our starting eleven.
“But we didn't buckle. We dug in there and did okay.”
Harps were already without the injured Keith Cowan and Horgan went with Damien McNulty alongside Packie Mailey in the centre of defence and Ethan Boyle at right back.
They are now facing the prospect of being without Raymond Foy and Adam Hanlon for a few weeks after both were forced off early on.
Foy damaged his hamstring and was replaced by Tony McNamee after 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes later, Hanlon suffered a knee injury and Liam Flatley came on in his place.
By that stage, Cork were two goals to the good.
They were in front within 90 seconds. Kevin O’Connor broke down the left and his pass found Sean Maguire. The striker in turn set up Gearóid Morrissey who fired beyond the dive of Richard Brush, helped by a deflection off the unfortunate Packie Mailey.
Maguire then made it 2-0 minutes later when he headed in Stephen Dooley's corner.
Maguire and Dooley both had chances to score again as Cork continued to press - Brush making a fine stop to deny Dooley while Maguire was wasteful after sent through on goal.
The home side, who included Ballybofey man Johnny Dunleavy in defence, were reduced to ten men early in the second half when Kenny Browne was punished for an off-the-ball tussle with Dave Scully.
Harps keeper, Brush, had been challenged by Browne in the lead-up to the Cork man's dismissal and Brush himself was then forced out of the action and replaced by Ciaran Gallagher after suffering injury.
Cork though struck again soon after when Maguire broke clear down the right and found substitute Karl Sheppard who fired home.
The visitors did manage to find the net five minutes from the end when Ciaran Coll and substitute Flatley combined to allow Ryan Curran shoot past Mark McNulty from close in.
It was just rewards for a hard working display after such a difficult start.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Johnny Dunleavy, Alan Bennett, Kenny Browne, Kevin O’Connor, Steven Beattie (Danny Morrissey 77 mins), Gearóid Morrissey, Greg Bolger, Garry Buckley, Stephen Dooley (Karl Sheppard 57), Sean Maguire (Mark O’Sullivan 77).
Finn Harps: Richard Brush (Ciaran Gallagher ’61), Ethan Boyle, Damien McNulty, Packie Mailey, Ciaran Coll, Ryan Curran, Raymond Foy (Tony McNamee 10), Gareth Harkin, Sean Houston, Adam Hanlon (Liam Flatley 25); Dave Scully.
Referee: Padraig Sutton.