First-half volleys from Scott Craven and Daniel Hand saw Dundalk Youths exact revenge on Malahide United as they progressed to the next round of the Ferrari Cup (League Cup) with a deserved 2-0 win at Gannon Park on Sunday afternoon. The Lilywhites led by the same score at half-time at the same ground just seven days earlier in the league, when the home side recovered to win 3-2 thanks to some dubious refereeing decisions. But this time they held firm in a quiet second half to secure their passage.
The young Lilywhites travelled to the capital still smarting from their first defeat of the season, but they quickly set about their task in what was to be a dominant display, led by a ‘Man of the Match’ performance from midfielder Cian Doyle. The first chance came in the fifth minute when a kick-out from Johnny Connolly was flicked on by Doyle to Hand who slipped the ball through to Michael Gray whose shot went agonisingly wide. Moments later, Rian Hand’s cross found Craven who laid the ball off to Gray, who again couldn’t find the target as he blasted his shot the wrong side of the post. On the quarter-hour mark, the visitors continued in control, with Hand cheekily trying to chip the goalkeeper from outside the box, but the effort went narrowly wide.
However, Dundalk hit the front on 22 minutes. A deep corner found Doyle at the far side, with his cross back in volleyed home by Craven from close range. It was a deserved lead for Alan Browne’s side, and they doubled their advantage before the break as Hand struck on 38 minutes. An Aidan Sheehy free-kick from inside the Dundalk half found its way over the Malahide defence and into the path of Hand who produced a superb volleyed finish. Well on top, Dundalk could have added more after the break, their best chance falling to Hand’s strike-partner Kurt Murphy who attempted to make it a hat-trick of volleys, but his effort went inches over the crossbar.
DUNDALK FC: Johnny Connolly, Rian Hand (Jude Carroll 60), Brian Bird, Aidan Sheehy, Jack Clancy, Seanie Crosbie, Cian Doyle, Michael Gray (Ross Kehoe 60), Scott Craven (Robbie Curran 70), Kurt Murphy (Conor McDonald 70), Daniel Hand (Rowan Quinn 65).
Goals: S Craven (22), D Hand (38).