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Match Report

Jad Hakiki wowed on his home debut as Dundalk went on a goalscoring spree to collect a huge three points in the battle at the bottom of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division, seeing off rivals Drogheda United 4-2 in the Louth Derby at Oriel Park.

Dundalk were living it up in the opening quarter-hour as superb goals from Hakiki and Ryan O’Kane had the old place bouncing, with the recent arrival from Shelbourne making an impressive start to life in the Wee County.

Drogheda pulled a goal back before the break through Walsall loanee Douglas James-Taylor’s header. But there would be no stopping Jon Daly’s men as Daryl Horgan produced two wonderful finishes in the second half, with James-Taylor’s injury-time penalty only a consolation.

For the game, Daly made three changes to the team that narrowly lost at Shamrock Rovers seven days earlier. New loan signing Felix Goddard came straight into the starting XI and was joined by Mayowa Animasahun and O’Kane. Striker Jamie Gullan was back on the bench after injury but winger Norman Garbett missed out through a knock.

Dundalk made a dream start to the game. They hit the front in the eighth minute when O’Kane saw his shot beaten away by ‘keeper Andrew Wogan but Robbie Benson picked up the loose ball and hooked it back into the centre for Hakiki who planted his header in the net.

The Lilywhites’ plans were disrupted within a couple of minutes when Paul Doyle was forced off through injury and replaced by Scott McGill, who was also making his home debut. The attacking midfielder would settle in quickly.

Dundalk made it 2-0 on 16 minutes when, after they probed outside the box, Benson attempted to evade a couple of Drogheda players but was stopped, only for the ball to fall for O’Kane who, from the ‘D’, struck a sweet first-time strike to the bottom corner at the Carrick End.

Drogheda gradually grew into the game and they were right back in it in the 37th minute when Darragh Markey delivered a brilliant cross onto the head of James-Taylor who powered past Goddard who never stood a chance.

The Boynesiders, who picked up a couple of yellow cards late in the first half, threatened again before the whistle when James-Taylor got into the area but his shot was blocked and the follow-up drifted away from goal as Dundalk took a narrow but deserved into the break.

Drogheda brought in Ryan Brennan for the second half, but it was Dundalk who almost scored next on 51 minutes. A good move involving McGill, Benson and Hakiki ended with Seán Keogh clipping in a through-ball for Hakiki and Kenny to chase but Wogan smothered the ball at the feet of the latter.

Dundalk, though, did make it 3-1 on 55 minutes after a beautiful move, Horgan breaking into the box and rifling to the net after a neat one-two with Eoin Kenny, to ease a lot of nerves in the home support.

Drogheda responded with a double substitution as Frantz Pierrot and Warren Davis were called upon by Kevin Doherty, who had been booked earlier in the half for his over-the-top protests at a foul given against his side.

On 74 minutes, Shane Farrell’s free-kick was met by Pierrot but Goddard saved. That had come shortly after Dan Pike was introduced for his club debut at the same time as Gullan made a welcome appearance following injury, and Luke Mulligan – for his league debut – and Robbie Mahon soon entered too.

Mulligan had a go from distance but it was off-target. However, Dundalk’s next shot was on the money as Mahon made a good forward run before laying off to Horgan who cut inside and unleashed a stunning strike past Wogan to make it 4-1.

Drogheda continued to push and they were awarded a penalty in injury-time which James-Taylor stuck past Goddard, but it did not matter as Dundalk recorded a vital victory in the battle to avoid the drop.

DUNDALK FC: Felix Goddard, John Mountney, Mayowa Animasahun, Bobby Faulkner, Seán Keogh (Dan Pike 72), Robbie Benson, Paul Doyle (Scott McGill 10), Daryl Horgan, Jad Hakiki (Luke Mulligan 77), Ryan O’Kane (Robbie Mahon 77), Eoin Kenny (Jamie Gullan 72). Subs not used: Ross Munro (GK), Koen Oostenbrink, Cami Elliott, Hayden Cann.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Andrew Wogan, Andrew Quinn, Dave Webster (Frantz Pierrot 58), Jack Keaney, Conor Kane, Adam Foley (Warren Davis 58), Elicha Ahui (Ryan Brennan HT), Luke Heeney, Darragh Markey (Matthew O’Brien 63), Shane Farrell, Douglas James-Taylor. Subs not used: Luke Dennison (GK), Cameron Feehan, Sam Case, James Byrne, Killian Cailloce.

REFEREE: Rob Hennessy.

Results

Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Dundalk FC214
Drogheda United212

Details

Date Time League Season
July 12, 2024 7:45 pm Premier Division 2024 League of Ireland