Dundalk 3-1 UCD: Report & Photo Gallery
Two goals in three minutes before half-time from Ross Gaynor and Daniel Kearns helped Dundalk to a 3-1 win over UCD at Oriel Park on Friday night, as they quickly bounced back from last week’s disappointment.
Photo Gallery can be viewed here. Photos by Nigel Caldwell.
The home side had chances to take the lead midway through the opening period, but an otherwise quiet half was lit up shortly before the break when Kearns and Gaynor combined, the latter finding the bottom corner with a classy first-time finish. Mark Quigley then produced magnificent skill to beat three players at the by-line to setup Kearns who found the net from close range. Paul Corry pulled a goal back for UCD on 69 minutes, but it was quickly cancelled out by Jason Byrne who coolly beat Ger Barron to give Dundalk a vital victory.
Dundalk manager Ian Foster made two changes to the team that lined out in the defeat by Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park seven days earlier, with Michael Hector and Greg Bolger replaced by Shane Guthrie and Stephen McDonnell. After a quiet opening 20 minutes – the only shot on goal coming in the opening seconds from Robbie Creevy which Peter Cherrie easily gathered – the game burst into life before the midway point of the half. The first real chance of the game fell to Kearns, after a move involving Colin Hawkins, Quigley and Gaynor, the latter’s cross missed by Byrne and Quigley, but Kearns was on hand to drill a shot goalwards, only for UCD ‘keeper Barron to produce a fine save to push it away.
Moments later, Dundalk were on the front foot again, Byrne rounding Barron, but from a tight angle the ‘keeper recovered well to block the shot. The home side continued to pile on the pressure and Byrne’s header was cleared behind, with Kearns’ resulting corner causing all sorts of problems. Firstly, Byrne’s shot was blocked and from the resulting play it appeared that Hawkins was taken down by Barron, but referee Padraig Sutton waved away the protests. On 39 minutes, Quigley tried his luck from range but Barron gathered with ease. Seconds later, good play by Gaynor allowed Keith Ward to break through but a heavy touch from the youngster saw UCD clear. Kearns’ free-kick from out on the left was then met by a looping header from Quigley which cleared the crossbar.
On 42 minutes, Dundalk took the lead. Kearns found Gaynor in space on the left of the area and a superb first-time shot nestled in Barron’s bottom right-hand corner. Within seconds, UCD could have grabbed an equaliser, with a goalmouth scramble half cleared, as far as Mark Langtry who fired narrowly over from 12-yards. On the stroke of half-time, Kearns’ free-kick, again from the left, was parried by Barron, with Byrne following up only to see his effort come off the inside of the post. Quigley, however, retrieved possession and somehow got past three UCD players at the by-line, before cutting back to Kearns who squeezed the ball into the net. That was Kearns’ first ever goal at Oriel Park and it saw Dundalk go in ahead at the break for the first time at home this season.
Dundalk started the second half positively but there was little noteworthy action in the opening quarter, with UCD’s attempts to get back into the game coming to nothing. Cherrie, however, was called into action on 62 minutes. Corry’s short corner was returned to the midfielder and his shot from the angle of the area was pushed away by the Scottish No1, with Graham Rusk’s follow-up cleared by captain Simon Madden. Moments later, at the other end, Quigley fed Byrne but his first-time effort went the wrong side of Barron’s right-hand upright. On 69 minutes, UCD were back in it, when Corry stood up and curled a delightful free-kick into Cherrie’s bottom left-hand corner. Dundalk replied with Gaynor finding Byrne but Barron saved well. But the Lilywhites did restore their two-goal advantage on 72 minutes when Byrne latched onto Madden’s cross and let the ball sit up before finishing well, low under the visiting ‘keeper. That made the points secure for Foster’s side, who continued to press in the final quarter without seriously testing Barron.
DUNDALK FC (4-2-3-1): Peter Cherrie; Simon Madden ©, Colin Hawkins, Shane Guthrie, Nathan Murphy; Stephen McDonnell, Keith Ward; Daniel Kearns, Mark Quigley (Mark Griffin 87), Ross Gaynor; Jason Byrne (Johnny Breen 83).
Goals: R Gaynor (42), D Kearns (45), J Byrne (72).
Booked: S Guthrie (68), D Kearns (80).
Unused Subs: Paul Murphy (GK), Michael Hector.
UCD AFC (4-5-1): Ger Barron; Paul O’Conor, Tomás Boyle (David O’Connor 76), Michael Leahy ©, Ciarán Nangle; Dean Marshall, Paul Corry, Robbie Creevy, Mark Langtry, Darren Meenan; Graham Rusk.
Goal: P Corry (69).
Booked: P Corry (83).
Unused Subs: Mark McGinley (GK), Barry McCabe, Daniel Ledwith, Robbie Benson, Stephen Doyle, Samir Belhout.
Referee: Padraig Sutton (Dublin).
Attendance: 1,950 (Est.).