Dundalk end league season with another home win
Dundalk completed a fantastic SSE Airtricity League campaign unbeaten at Oriel Park, thanks to a 4-0 victory over St Patrick’s Athletic that secured a 16th home win of the season.
The Lilywhites have dropped just four points at Oriel Park in 2019 and, after Dane Massey gave the Lilywhites the lead on 22 minutes, this win never looked in doubt.
Daniel Kelly made it 2-0 before the break, before a Brendan Clarke own goal after a smart Patrick Hoban shot and a late Georgie Kelly made it a convincing 4-0 win for the Lilywhites.
Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth made five changes to the Dundalk team that started in Cork last week and the Lilywhites started the game brightly.
The home side had the lion’s share of possession in the opening minutes and forced a few corners in quick succession, but a deflected Daniel Cleary header over the bar was the nearest they came.
Pat’s then grew into the game and had the better of the opening quarter. Conor Clifford fizzed a cross across the six yard box that James Doona narrowly failed to meet, before Doona then smashed the outside of Gary Rogers’ right-hand post from the edge of the box, having cut in from the left-hand side.
Dundalk soon had the lead, however, when John Mountney’s 22nd minute free kick was expertly glanced home by Dane Massey from around 15 yards.
James Doona then fizzed another ball across the Dundalk six-yard box, before Patrick Hoban had a chance to make it two, but his header from a Daniel Kelly cross was straight at Brendan Clarke.
Dundalk doubled their lead on 43 minutes with a lovely goal. Robbie Benson played a delightful through ball to the onrushing Daniel Kelly, who controlled the ball beautifully with his right foot before shooting low past Clarke at his near post.
HALF TIME: DUNDALK 2 – 0 ST PAT’S
The second half opened up at a decent tempo but with few chances created until just after the hour mark, when Dundalk stretched their lead to three.
Pat’s made a bit of a meal of a corner and Dundalk broke, with Daniel Kelly putting Hoban into space. The striker got his shot away from a very tight angle and hit the base of the post, with the ball rebounding back off Clarke before rolling slowly across the line, with seemingly an age before the linesman’s flag went up to signal the goal.
The crowd cheered the goal as though it was Hoban’s, but the TV replays showed it will be unlikely for the striker to have clocked up his 14th league goal of the season.
Clarke was back in action about 10 minutes later, pulling off a fantastic close-range save to deny Dundalk substitute Georgie Kelly.
Gary Rogers then produced a fabulous low save to deny Chris Forrester, before Daniel Kelly shot straight at Clarke at the other end.
Dane Massey fired wide before Clarke tipped a shot around the post and it looked like that would be that until Georgie Kelly intervened in the 89th minute.
The striker blasted a Chris Shields cutback onto the underside of the bar before Dane Massey picked up the rebound and his cross was headed home by Kelly at the far post to round off a great night on the pitch, with the trophy presentation to follow.
FULL TIME: DUNDALK 4 – 0 ST PAT’S
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Jordan Flores, 67); John Mountney (Georgie Kelly, 69), Jamie McGrath, Daniel Kelly; Patrick Hoban (Sean Murray, 77)
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis, Cameron Dummigan
Booked: Patrick Hoban (39)
Sent off: None
ST PAT’S: Brendan Clarke; Dean Clarke, David Webster, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (capt); Conor Clifford (Glen McAuley, 77); Darragh Markey (Ronan Hale, 67), Chris Forrester, Cian Coleman (Jamie Lennon, HT), James Doona; Jake Walker
Substitutes not used: Barry Murphy (GK), Gary Shaw, Simon Madden, Rhys McCabe
Sent off: None
Referee: Graham Kelly