Here,FNA is performed using a small, 25 gauge, needle (larger gauge corresponds to a smaller needle). As per Coding guidelines, a core needle biopsy is performed using an 11-18 gauge needle (larger than the one used in FNA). CNB was indicated when the FNA smears, on immediate assessment, were considered suboptimal or nonrepresentative of clinical and/or radiologic findings or ... CNB also was performed if FNA smears showed features suggestive of malignant lymphoma or sarcoma to facilitate histologic classification, particularly in cases of first-time diagnosis.
It seems from the question that no specimen was sent for exam after 25g needle passes, because of inadequcy. For adequacy 18g needle was used justifying for Core needle biopsy. But sending the aspiration as direct smears in alcohol is the CONTRADICTION.
I would like to cyte some more info that, before the core biopsy specimen was transferred to 10% formalin fixative, cytologic imprints of CNB specimens sometimes were made (available in 12% of cases) by gently touching the CNB tissue to a glass slide. This again may increase the complexity of the issue.
In such a contradictory set of documention and some missing info as in your question, and keeping the guidelines in view, the only deciding factor that is going to serve the purpose is the clinical findings. If the finding is abnormal, particularly if tumor/malignant nodule, etc to decide in favour of Core Biopsy. But, it should not concluded from this that findings from FNA can't be abnormal.