City's third season in the League of Ireland saw a few new things being introduced. Following the necessary vacating of Flower Lodge,  which would become known as Páirc Uí Rinn after it was renovated for the use of Gaelic football and hurling, the home games would now be played at Turner's Cross, which had previously hosted league football during the tenures of Cork Celtic and the second Cork United. Barring a brief period in the mid-1990s when a new ground was purchased at Bishopstown, 'the Cross' would become the club's permanent home, even if the crowds were slow to flock to the Curragh Road venue in the early stages

Another change was the installation of former Cork Hibernians defender Noel O'Mahony as manager, the first of what would prove to be three spells in charge. O'Mahony would enjoy success as manager, but it did not happen immediately. The crest on the shirts also came in for a revision, though what now appeared (left) was not technically 'new' as it had appeared on various literature, including matchday programmes, since the club's foundation in 1984. This crest would continue, with some slight alterations, until 2009, when a brand-new crest was launched.

On the sartorial side, the kit appeared to the naked eye to be same as that used the previous season, but it had subtle differences (top left). The shirts now had a v-neck, with the adidas logo and crest swapping sides to move to their more 'normal' positions. There was no short-sleeved version worn this season, and in almost all cases white shorts and socks were worn.
Early in the season, the poor form from 1985-86 continued, but the club's first home league win since the 1984-85 season was finally achieved as Sligo Rovers were beaten 3-2 at the Cross, with that game also being notable for John Caulfield scoring the club's first hat-trick. “It was the seventh game or so of the season and we hadn’t won at all. We were down 2-0 and I ended up getting a hat-trick as we won 3-2,” Caulfield said in a programme interview back in 2009. “That was kind of a turning point in the season and we went on a bit of an unbeaten run after that.”

The description used by Caulfield of "a bit of an unbeaten run" is probably best, as the club were never really near the upper echolons of the table, but a final finish of seventh place provided a bit of stability compared to the scare of the previous campaign. Unfortunately, the cup competitions didn't offer any solace either, but a foundation had been laid and that would be built upon in subsequent seasons.

In the away game against Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds in October, City wore green shorts and white socks with the home shirts (above right). This was the only time that that particular combination was worn with the hooped jerseys, while the away strip (lower right) also changed. Still retaining white sleeves, the adidas stripes were now green rather than red, while the neck, still a wrapover, was also green and the logos followed the changes to the home shirt. Red shorts and home socks were worn.