Dundalk FC 7-1 UCD | Pre-Season Friendly
New signings Will Patching and Darragh Leahy were amongst the scorers as Dundalk got their 2020 campaign underway with a comprehensive 7-1 win over UCD at Oriel Park on Friday night.
Sixty-seven days after they brought the curtain down on the 2019 season with a six-goal rout over Linfield in the Unite the Union Cup, the champions, wearing their new Umbro home kit, carried on where they left off with a fine attacking display on a cold January evening.
In a game which saw him use a total of 22 players, Vinny Perth started with a three-man central defence of Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle and Sean Hoare with Dane Massey and John Mountney tasked with providing the width.
This is Mountney’s ninth season at the club and he went within a whisker of opening the scoring in the eighth minute. Played in by a sublime reverse pass from Patrick McEleney, the Mayoman was somehow denied on two occasions by Lorcan Healey in the UCD goal.
The home support didn’t have too long to wait for the first goal of the year to arrive, McEleney guiding a neat header past Healey after being picked out by Chris Shields.
The Students posed a threat going forward and Jack Keany’s incisive pass looked to have put Yoyo Mahdy through on goal but he was met by a flash of fluorescent orange as Gary Rogers sprinted from his penalty area to clear.
Goal number two arrived in the 19th minute when Georgie Kelly made his old club pay dearly for some slack marking by meeting a perfectly flighted free-kick from Jordan Flores to bury a towering header past Healey.
The visitors refused to lie down, however, and Colm Whelan pulled one back just past the half-hour when he angled a cracking finish into Gary Rogers’ top corner but Patching restored the two-goal cushion when he took a Daniel Cleary ball down on his chest and stylishly dispatched with the minimum of fuss.
As expected, Perth rang the changes at the break with Cameron Dummigan, Brian Gartland, Sean Murray, Michael Duffy, Patrick Hoban, Daniel Kelly and another new boy, Greg Sloggett, all introduced.
There was almost an early fourth when Duffy darted down the left but his cross just evaded Hoban. The ball came back in from the opposite side but Gavin Sheridan, a half-time replacement for Healey, made a point-blank save. Daniel Kelly was next to be denied, the UCD ‘keeper sticking out a leg to deny the winger from close-range.
The SSE Airtricity League champions made four more changes on the hour mark with Leahy and Sean Gannon coming on to replace Dane Massey and Andy Boyle respectively. American midfielder, Taner Dogan, who has been training with the Lilywhites for the past fortnight, and former goalkeeper Gabriel Sava, were also given an opportunity to impress ahead of next week’s training camp in Spain.
Duffy added a quickfire brace before the end with two similar finishes, the first after he picked the pocket of UCD defender Harvey O’Brien and the second from Hoban’s delicious pass that carved the visitors’ defence open.
There was still time for two more goals before the end with Leahy getting forward to mark his debut with a tidy header before providing the assist for Hoban to make it 7-1 in stoppage time.
DUNDALK FC: Gary Rogers (Gabriel Sava 60); Daniel Cleary (Brian Gartland HT), Andy Boyle (Darragh Leahy 60), Sean Hoare (Cameron Dummigan HT); John Mountney (Daniel Kelly HT), Chris Shields (Taner Dogan 60), Jordan Flores (Greg Sloggett HT), Dane Massey (Sean Gannon 60); Will Patching (Sean Murray HT), Patrick McEleney (Michael Duffy); Georgie Kelly (Patrick Hoban HT).
UCD: Lorcan Healey (Gavin Sheridan HT); Evan Farrell, Conor McKeown, Harry McEvoy (Luke Boore HT (Evan Weir 66)), Evan Weir (Abdul Bapikar HT); Jack Keaney (Harvey O’Brien HT), Mark Dignam (Cian Ryan HT); Yousef Mahdy (Sean McDonald HT), Michael O’Keane, Ciaran Behan (Kevin Coffey HT); Colm Whelan (Danu Kinsella-Bishop HT).