Hat-trick Hoban hungry for more goals
Patrick Hoban was once again the toast of Oriel Park on Friday night as the second hat-trick of his career propelled Dundalk to an emphatic 4-0 win over Limerick.
Having found the net twice in four games this season, the 26-year-old went one further in his 100th appearance for the Lilywhites to send them back to the top of the SSE Airtricity League for 24 hours at least.
“It’s a good feeling to get my second ever hat-trick tonight,” Hoban told dundalkfc.com after the game.
“People might say it’s been a long time coming. I’ve had quite a lot of doubles but I’m delighted to get a hat-trick and, most importantly, the three points.
“I missed an earlier chance for the hat-trick but I just kept running and thankfully I got another chance. It was a great ball by Dylan [Connolly] and I put it away.”
The hat-trick took Hoban’s goal tally for the season to 18 – seven clear at the top of the league goalscorers’ chart – but the Galwegian insists there is more to come.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’m starting to feel a lot fitter, with no injuries as well, which is a plus. I know what it feels like to be on a run of not scoring goals, so to be on the run I’m on right now is a great feeling.
“But I still think I can improve. I believe I have another level I can go up to, so I just have to keep working hard every week and keep improving. I’m delighted with 18 goals but I want more.”
Despite the final scoreline, Dundalk’s three points were hard-earned in a difficult game against an organised and resolute Limerick side, which came as no surprise to the Lilywhites’ top scorer.
“We’d watched a lot of Limerick during the week and we knew their strengths,” said Hoban.
“We knew it would be a tough test. They have a lot of threats. They are a big physical side and they were lumping the ball in the box every opportunity they could but I thought we dealt with that well.
“The first goal was massive and then, after the second goal in particular, we played some unbelievable stuff tonight. There was some good one touch football and it must have been good to watch.”
The victory makes it seven league wins on the trot for Stephen Kenny’s men, who will be looking to extend that run to eight as they travel to the Brandywell to take on Derry City next Friday in the final game before the mid-season break.
After the break, we are back in action at Oriel Park with the visit of champions Cork City on 29 June, but Hoban insists that the team can not afford to look that far ahead.
“It’s a massive game next week in Derry so we have to make sure we’re fully focused on that,” said the Loughrea native. “We beat them 4-1 in their place only a few weeks ago and that will still be fresh in their minds, so we need to be ready for a backlash.
“It’s a massive game just to keep the board ticking over and hopefully we’ll get another three points before the break. We’ve a massive game after the break against Cork, so we have to fight for three points next week to go into that game strong.
“We have to make sure we’re on it. There’s no looking two games ahead. You get found out if you start doing that, so we just have to be ready for it.”