Report: Kilduff & Massey Strike In Midlands
Ciarán Kilduff and Dane Massey struck early and late as Dundalk rounded off their pre-season friendly schedule with a 2-0 win over Longford Town at City Calling Stadium on Tuesday night, where Stephen Kenny finished with eight players aged 19 or under.
Dundalk were bright from the start and were in front by the seventh minute when Patrick McEleney floated a beautifully-weighted ball onto the foot of Kilduff who buried it past Paul Skinner from ten-yards.
Despite their dominance Dundalk could not extend that lead before the break and they were almost pegged level when Gavin Boyne’s audacious effort from range was tipped over by the backtracking Gabriel Sava.
John Mountney should have scored early in the second half when he was set up well by Steven Kinsella – who was recalled from the Republic of Ireland Under-19 squad in Spain on Monday – but he fired off target when in on goal.
Longford pressed in search of an equaliser but they were undone again on 84 minutes when Kinsella skipped to the by-line and his perfect delivery was dispatched by the head of Massey from close range.
Captain for the night was McEleney and it was the Derry man, who has impressed in pre-season, that created the opener with a wonderful ball over the defence which was controlled first-time by Kilduff who hit a clinical strike beyond the ‘keeper.
Dundalk were in charge, with McEleney proving a constant threat, and his dangerous free-kick into the six-yard box before the quarter-hour almost led to a second. The midfielder then supplied Kilduff with another clever pass but from a difficult angle he drove over from the right of the area.
From nowhere, Longford were almost level on 36 minutes when Boyne almost caught out Sava with a curling effort from distance but as it dipped under the bar the ‘keeper recovered well to get back and tip over.
Dundalk held their lead until the interval but it was Longford who had the first sight of goal in the second half as Enda Curran headed over on 50 minutes.
Shortly after, the Lilywhites – playing in an all-white strip – should have doubled their lead when Kinsella showed good strength and feet in the middle before slipping in the on-rushing Mountney but he shot badly wide when in on goal.
Longford put a good move together past the hour through Dylan McGlade and Daniel O’Reilly down the left but the latter’s dangerous cross was taken off the foot of David O’Sullivan at the back post by fellow half-time substitute Massey.
Massey then almost put through his own net when he attempted to chest Curran’s left-wing cross back to Sava but it beat him and narrowly missed the bottom corner.
As Kenny emptied his bench, Dundalk made certain of victory with a second goal six minutes from time as Kinsella got down the right and delivered a pinpoint cross to Massey who buried his header.
Longford Town: Paul Skinner (Shane Fagan 83), Kealan Dillon, Tristan Noack-Hofmann, Stephen Walsh, Daniel O’Reilly, Karl Chambers (David O’Sullivan HT), Gavin Boyne, Kevin O’Connor (C), Dean Zambra, Dylan McGlade (Daniel Beya 71), Enda Curran (Ian Fletcher 76). Unused Subs: Jack Brady (GK), Rhys Gorman, Aodh Dervin, Darragh Doherty.
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava (Ben Kelly 80), Seán Gannon (Dane Massey HT), Paddy Barrett, Brian Gartland (James Rice 59), Niclas Vemmelund, Robbie Benson (Jake O’Connor HT), John Mountney (Dean Watters 59), Trialist (Jack O’Keeffe 87), Patrick McEleney (C) (Keith Dalton HT), Steven Kinsella, Ciarán Kilduff (Carlton Ubaezuonu HT). Goals: C Kilduff (7), D Massey (84). Unused Subs: None.
Referee: Ben Connolly.