Duffy Goal Seals All Three
Dundalk made it three wins from three as they were 1-0 winners over Cork City at Oriel on Friday evening.
A first half header from Michael Duffy was enough for the champions to defeat the Leesiders in a thrilling encounter.
Dundalk were on the front foot early on and we had a penalty shout as early as the third minute when Sean Murray got beyond Conor McCarthy and looked to have been fouled however referee Paul McLaughlin waved away the protests.
In the 7th minute Michael Duffy and Patrick Hoban combined brilliantly with the latter setting up the winger for a shot on the edge of the area however Mark McNulty got his finger tip to it to push it around the post.
Hoban then took Duffy’s place on the left wing and had a cross rebound back into his path. He showed great composure to pick out the Derry man once more however his low drive was just wide and caught the side netting.
Karl Sheppard broke the Dundalk pressure as he let fly from distance however he was well off target.
Dane Massey then had a shot blocked while at the other end, Sean McLoughlin got on the end of a Kevin O’Connor corner however he couldn’t guide it anywhere near the goal.
O’Connor then had an effort go over the bar as he struck a free-kick when Garry Comerford was brought down 25 yards from goal.
It was in the 38th minute that the Lilywhites took a deserved lead.
Jamie McGrath showed superb skill and close control in the left corner and fired an inch perfect cross for Duffy who rose highest to nod the ball to the net and send Oriel Park wild.
It was almost 2-0 moments later when Duffy engineered a chance to get a second when he lined up from just inside the box however his shot was straight at McNulty.
That remained the score at the break with the champions deservedly in front.
Dundalk did almost double their lead in the minutes after the break when that man McGrath found the head of Hoban with a superb free-kick however McNulty reacted brilliantly to somehow keep the striker out.
Graham Cummins had a header go towards goal from a Gearoid Morrissey ball into the box but it was easily gathered by Gary Rogers.
Alan Bennett tried to get his head on the end of a Morrissey corner but he nodded the ball well wide.
Sean Gannon raided forward and his cross towards Dan Kelly was parried by McNulty and the rebound fell to Massey. He laid a lovely cross off to Kelly however his volley on the outside of the foot was weak and easy for McNulty.
That proved to be the final action of note as Cork streamed forward and the Lilywhites took all three points.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Sean Hoare, Sean Murray (Dean Jarvis 77); Daniel Kelly (Cameron Dummigan 88), Jamie McGrath (John Mountney 90), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Georgie Kelly, Joe McKee, Jordan Flores.
Booked: Gartland (32), Duffy (79)
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan (Garry Comerford 10) (Alan Bennett 46), Sean McLoughlin, Conor McCarthy, Kevin O’Connor (Dan Smith 81); Gearoid Morrissey, Conor McCormack, Shane Griffin; Karl Sheppard (capt); Graham Cummins.
Substitutes not used: Tadgh Ryan (GK), Darragh Rainsford, Pierce Philips, Liam Nash.
Booked: Buckley (76), Griffin (84)
Referee: Paul McLaughlin