A youthful Dundalk side booked their place in the quarter-finals of the PTSB Leinster Senior Cup as Group A runners-up following a scoreless draw with Bohemians at Oriel Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
Eight of the young Lilywhites in the starting XI, managed by U20 coach Mark Griffin, made their debut for the club, including 15-year-old centre-back Vincent Leonard, who became the youngest player to play a competitive game for Dundalk FC. Eoin Kenny, Conor O’Gorman and Dualta Honney were the only three to have tasted competitive action before this.
The Bohs line-up contained four former Dundalk U17 players: Jake Hough, Callum Doyle-Travers, Markuss Strods and Hugh Smith, and the latter two almost combined in the 10th minute but Samuel Safaei was quick off his line to deny Smith.
Fresh off the back of scoring his first goal for the club against Drogheda United less than 72 hours later, Kenny led the line for Dundalk and he went close in quick succession, forcing two good stops from Bohs goalkeeper Rian Hogan midway through the half.
Dundalk carried a threat going forward and Honney came in off the left to let fly with a fierce effort that whistled over the crossbar before Kenny diverted a cross just past the upright from close range, although the Lilywhites number nine was adamant that it came off a Bohs defender.
Both sides had openings in the early stages of the second half with Benjamin Fagbemi making a brilliant tackle to stop Strods from breaking the deadlock before Conor O’Gorman curled a lovely effort towards the goal that Hogan did well to tip over.
Rhys Brennan Black watched a shot just trickle wide for Bohs before turning provider for Doyle-Travers who rose unmarked to meet the substitute’s free kick in the 75th minute but the former Dundalk player couldn’t keep his header on target.
To their credit, both teams pressed for a winner in the latter stages but the game ended scoreless with Dundalk advancing to the knockout stages by virtue of goal difference.
DUNDALK FC U20: Samuel Safaei, Luke Povall, Adam Byrne, Vincent Leonard, Benjamin Fagbemi, Scott Brady (Jack O’Flaherty HT), Samuel Case (Cian Spaight 82), Aidan Russell, Eoin Kenny (Rhys O’Hare HT), Conor O’Gorman (Niko Lovrekovic 82), Dualta Honney (Fionn McNamara 89). Subs not used: Graham Dooner,
BOHEMIANS U20: Rian Hogan, Finn Cowper Gray, Jake Hough, Declan Osagie, Callum Doyle-Travers, Viktors Ohvovoriole (Rhys Brennan Black 61), Billy Gilmore, Onesime Tembe (Nickson Okosun 61), Markuss Strods (Taylor Mooney 61), Hugh Smith, Sean Moore. Subs not used: Joseph Collins (GK), Shane Tracey, Sean McCarthy, Josh Lyons.
REFEREE: Robert Harvey.
|February 5, 2024
|Leinster Senior Cup
|2024 League of Ireland