Dundalk 4-1 Cliftonville
Dundalk kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 4-1 victory over Danske Bank Premiership side Cliftonville at Oriel Park.
A first half brace from Daryl Horgan before John Mountney and captain Stephen O’Donnell made it four in the second half. Darren Murray pulled back one for the Belfast side with 5 minutes remaining.
Dundalk were the dominant team from the start with Brian Gartland heading just wide from a Daryl Horgan corner in the opening 10 minutes.
The set plays were proving successful with Horgan’s delivery once again causing problems which was flicked on by Andy Boyle which found David McMillan but he skewed over from 6 yards.
Horgan’s corner was cleared as far as Mountney but he drilled his effort straight at Peter Burke.
It wasn’t long until Dundalk did take the lead when Mountney showed some quick feet and played the ball to Horgan. He took a brilliant touch before unleashing a superb curling effort in off the post.
McMillan shot at the goalkeeper before Horgan doubled the lead with a brace when Mountney picked up the loose ball and fed new signing Patrick McEleney. He played back to McMillan and his first time ball was slotted home past Burke.
It was 2-0 at the break and Cliftonville started the second half the brighter with Darren Murray shooting from distance but just wide.
They couldn’t make their pressure count though and Gary Rogers’ long free-kick evaded the centre backs which allowed Mountney in on goal and he fired high to the net past Burke.
Mountney had another effort go wide before he latched onto a Sean Gannon pass and he pulled back for the on rushing Stephen O’Donnell who blasted to the net from just inside the box.
McMillan should have made it 5 when he broke the offside trap but he fired straight at Burke.
Murray forced a good save from Rogers when his low drive was pushed away by the goalkeeper as the game entered the closing stages.
Cliftonville did pull one back when Murray capitalised on a loose ball in the Dundalk area and shot past Rogers.
That proved to be the final action of note as Dundalk begin their pre-season schedule with a victory.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Paddy Barrett (Sean Gannon 46), Brian Gartland (Shane Grimes 46), Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Stephen O’Donnell (Anton Reilly 76), Ronan Finn; Patrick McEleney (Georgie Poynton 67), John Mountney (Michael O’Connor 76), Daryl Horgan; David McMillan.
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK)
Sent off: None
CLIFTONVILLE: Peter Burke. Jamie McGovern, Caomhin Bonner, Chris Curran, George McMullan, David McDaid, Martin Donnelly, Francis Donnelly, Patrick McAllister, Paul George, Daniel Hughes.
Substitutes used Stephen Garrett, Richard Gowdy, Jay Donnelly, Ross Lavery. Andrew Mooney, Michael Tolan, Johnny Flynn, Darren Murray, James Knowles
Sent off: None.
Referee: Paul Tuite
Attendance: 1,000 (estimate)