MU19 head coach Tiarnan Mulvenna hailed his side’s brilliant start to the EA SPORTS LOI Academy season after they made it three wins on the bounce with a 3-2 victory against St Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park on Sunday.
Darius Lipsiuc put last year’s MU19 champions in front after just three minutes but, after making a couple of alterations, Dundalk responded with two goals in the space of three minutes – an own goal by Daniel McHale and a Callum Bonner striker – to go in 2-1 up at the break.
Ryan Boyle made it 3-1 in the 53rd minute and although Lipsiuc pulled one back with 23 minutes to play, Mulvenna’s side saw it out and should have added more to their tally before the final whistle.
“We’ve had a great start to the season,” said Mulvenna. “We’ve won all three of our games so far and we’re the only team in the MU19 league to have done that so I’m delighted.
“After going one down, we made a few changes and the response from the lads was fantastic. Pat’s couldn’t deal with us. When it went to 3-1, early in the second half, we had chances to go further ahead which was very pleasing.
“We didn’t take them and that goal from Pat’s made the final few minutes interesting but the boys dealt with it really well with Craig Moore and Dualta Honney excellent throughout.”
Blackrock lad Mark Leavy was handed his first start for the club and produced a fine display while Mulvenna also singled out Oisin Coleman and Senan Mullen, who both featured for the first team in pre-season, and new goalkeeper Sean Molloy, for praise.
“The spine of the team is solid and we have a lot of flair on the sides,” he said. “As well as that, Andrew Morrissey and Johnny Breen have ensured that our fitness levels are at the top level so teams will need to be fit to deal with us.
“Competition for places is really high which is pushing our levels even higher and after seeing Eoin Kenny sign a professional deal recently, a lot of the boys are hungry to go on and do likewise.”
The MU19 travel to Marley Park next Sunday to face UCD before playing host to Bohemians at Oriel Park on April 2nd.
DUNDALK FC MU19: Sean Molloy, Jack Watters, Ryan Boyle, Sean Bannon, Craig Moore, Mark Leavy, Anthony Moyo (Conor O’Gorman 33), Samuel Soyemi (Aidan Russell Vargas 80), Danny McNamara (Dualta Honney 33), Eoin Kenny, Callum Bonner. Subs not used: Jake Hough, Benjamin Fagbemi, Josh Hand, Luke Povall, Jamie Ryan (GK).