U19 Report: Four-Goal Farren Gives Derry Points
Four strikes from Cathal Farren helped Derry City battle back from two goals behind as Dundalk’s great start ultimately ended in disappointment, going down 5-3 at Quigley’s Point in their SSE Airtricity Under-19 Northern Elite Division opener on Saturday afternoon.
The young Lilywhites got off to the perfect start when Jake O’Connor’s superb sixth-minute header found the top corner. Out of nothing, Derry were level midway through the half when Farren finished well from close in.
Dundalk then raced ahead with two goals in five minutes, Jack O’Keeffe coolly slotting in a penalty before James Woods struck to the net. However, Derry replied immediately with a spot-kick of their own, Farren following in after Matt Lyons pushed the first effort away.
That gave the hosts a boost going into the break and they levelled 30 seconds after the interval when Farren’s shot crept inside the post.
Dundalk were soon awarded another penalty but the referee changed his decision, with Derry hitting the front on 63 minutes through substitute Shane McNamee. The victory was made certain with Farren’s 72nd-minute spot-kick, on a frustrating day for the Oriel Park club.
Dundalk made the long trip north with an 18-man squad and arrived to difficult pitch conditions at Quigley’s Point. But they made a bright start when they broke the deadlock within six minutes, Woods getting down the right and delivering a pinpoint cross for O’Connor who rose and powered an unstoppable header to the top corner.
The game was a real battle on the surface but with Dundalk shading it and looking comfortable, they were pegged level 22 minutes in when Adrian Delap skipped down the right and put in a cross which was met by Farren at the back post, his effort hitting the ground and bouncing up over Lyons.
Dundalk almost restored their lead seconds later when Cian Flynn – one of five debutants in the starting XI – did well down the left and put in a dangerous low cross which was just missed by O’Connor in the six-yard box.
The Louth side did, though, get back in front on 34 minutes when O’Keeffe broke well and got into the box where he was taken down before stepping up and sending the ‘keeper the wrong way. Four minutes later, it got even better when Carlton Ubaezuonu’s left-wing cross eventually sat up for Woods who fired to the net.
But straight away Derry reduced the deficit when Gavin Smith was adjudged to have handled a goal-bound shot, and though Farren saw his penalty saved by Lyons the striker followed up and tapped in to leave it 3-2 at half-time.
Within seconds of the resumption Derry were level when Dundalk sloppily conceded possession and Farren’s strike from the edge of the box crept inside the post.
Dundalk thought they had a penalty when the referee pointed to the spot after Woods was upended, but the officials changed their decision, stating the foul had been committed outside the area.
Soon, they found themselves behind for the first time when, despite a brave block from James Rice, the ball came out to McNamee who struck low past Lyons from ten-yards. Derry added a fifth on 72 minutes when Farren converted another penalty at the first attempt this time, as Dundalk’s day ended in disappointment in Donegal.
Derry City: Jason McCallion, Paul Doherty, Conor Gormley, Sam Todd, Lee McColgan, Noel Doherty, Ronan Wilson, Evan Tweed, Matty Doherty, Adrian Delap, Cathal Farren. Goals: C Farren (22, 39, 46, 72 pen), S McNamee (63). Bench: Mark McElhinney, Rhys McDermott, Ciarán Deery, Shane McNamee, Matthew Duffy, Seán McBride, Denver Kelly.
Dundalk: Matt Lyons, James Rice, Gavin Smith, Jack Traynor, Carlton Ubaezuonu, James Woods, Deane Watters (Seán O’Hanlon 80), Aaron Townley (Adam Finnegan 66), Cian Flynn, Jake O’Connor, Jack O’Keeffe. Goals: J O’Connor (6), J O’Keeffe (34 pen), James Woods (38). Unused Subs: Oisín Finn (GK), Emmet Hughes, Shane Gregory, Mahir Said.