Kenny: Important Win
Having watched his team maintain their unbeaten run in the league to seven games, and continue to chase Cork City FC at the top of the Premier Division, Stephen Kenny spoke afterwards of a happy camp.
Brian Garltand broke the deadlock with a second half header at Finn Park when he connected with a Jamie McGrath corner-kick.
McGrath then added to that in the final moments when he superbly chipped the ball over Ciaran Galalgher.
“It was important for us to win today for a lot of reasons. We have a lot of injuries in the team but the squad overcame it,” said the manager.
“It was a tough game against Finn Harps who are battling for their lives. It’s always a tough place to come and they are a good team who are difficult to play against.
“The importance of keeping a clean sheet can’t be underestimated, that gives us a good platform to go on and try to win the game.”
Kenny was full of praise for his team and had particular reason to highlight the performances of the goal scorers and Under-19 players Jake O’Connor and Carlton Ubeazuonu, who made their SSE Airtricity League debuts.
“Brian Gartland scored a very good header for the goal and a great finish by Jamie McGrath. It was never a comfortable victory – it was a real battle.
“We had two players making their debut who acquitted themselves really well and it was important for us to get the three points,” said Kenny.
Attention for the Lilywhites now turns to Tuesday night’s Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup, semi-final replay against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.
“It was real tough physical encounter on a pitch that was not in good condition at all so it was a real tough battle. We had to come through that, we’ve got a big game on Tuesday night and that’s the priority for us now.
“We’ll dust ourselves down today and get ready for Tuesday night.”
Kenny concluded by expressing his desire re-write the history book again as Dundalk FC bid to reach the AVIVA Stadium for the third year in-a-row, something the Lilywhites have never achieved
“We’ve won one trophy already this year in the EA SPORTS Cup which we were delighted to win. But, we want to be the first Dundalk team to get to the AVIVA Stadium for three years in-a-row – no Dundalk team has ever done that.
“The importance of that for a provincial town is that it has a massive effect on the whole region – that’s the motivation so it’ll be a tough game for us.
“We’ll have to do it the hard way after taking the lead at home and not seeing it out so we have a tough game ahead of us against Shamrock Rovers – there’s no doubt about that.
“We’ll have to get ourselves ready. We’ve the capacity to rise on the big nights – the players are able to produce on the big nights.”