Substitute Rowan Quinn’s late header could not save Dundalk Youths from exiting the FAI Cup as they bowed out in the second round following a 2-1 defeat by Saint Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin on Sunday afternoon. The home side looked to have secured their passage to the next round when they scored twice after the break, as they found themselves well in control despite Dundalk creating a number of openings. But the young Lilywhites produced a late rally, with Quinn heading in Conor McDonald’s cross on 80 minutes, before Kurt Murphy was agonisingly denied an equaliser as his shot was cleared off the line five minutes from time.
Dundalk started the brighter and had the first chance of the game on five minutes when Michael Gray did well down the right, slipping in Daniel Hand whose shot was saved by the Saints No1. The next opening also fell the way of the visitors, past the quarter-hour mark. Cian Doyle won possession in the middle of the park and passed to Hand who dummied it, allowing Gray in on goal, but his shot hit the side-netting. Scoreless at the break, Alan Browne’s side would pay for those misses as the hosts took the lead within three minutes of the restart, a cross from the left finding their striker who peeled off Aidan Sheehy and fired to the roof of the net.
On the hour mark, Dundalk went close to levelling when Doyle played a through-ball to Gray who saw his shot spectacularly saved. And yet again, they were made to pay as St. Pat’s made it 2-0 on 65 minutes, a powerful strike from the edge of the box finding the bottom right-hand corner, past ‘keeper Johnny Connolly. Dundalk were then denied a penalty, as Murphy appeared to be fouled, before Connolly saved his blushes when, after the ball slipped through his hands, he recovered to scramble back and clear off the line. Gray’s cross was then met by Murphy whose header was blocked on the line. Dundalk eventually got back in it when Quinn rose high to head McDonald’s delivery to the far corner, but they were denied extra-time when Murphy again saw an effort cleared off the line.
DUNDALK FC: Johnny Connolly, Ryan Duffy, Brian Bird, Ben McLaughlin, Aidan Sheehy (Jack Clancy 70), Scott Craven, Michael Gray, Conor McDonald, Kurt Murphy, Cian Doyle, Daniel Hand (Rowan Quinn 75).
Goal: R Quinn (80).