Dundalk’s first competitive game of 2024 ended in a comfortable victory as they swept Malahide United aside in their PTSB Leinster Senior Cup opener at Gannon Park.
The advent of Storm Isha meant that the game was played in driving wind and rain but the hardy supporters who braved the elements were treated to an early goal when Ryan O’Kane curled home a tidy finish off the left following a sweet pass by Robbie Mahon with just two minutes on the clock.
Hayden Muller, who looked comfortable in a central midfield position, made it 2-0 when he drilled a low effort past Brian Kane from the edge of the penalty area after a deft piece of skill by O’Kane saw him get clear on the left flank.
The Leinster Senior League outfit, who had former Shamrock Rovers and Cork City striker Karl Sheppard in attack, pulled one back three minutes before the break when Alan O’Shaughnessy fired a shot past Sean Molloy.
Cami Elliott, who earlier went close with a fierce drive that flashed just wide of the upright, almost restored Dundalk’s two-goal lead a minute later but Kane made an unbelievable stop to push the Scottish striker’s downward header to safety.
Dundalk bossed large periods of the second half and they went 3-1 in front when Archie Davies jinked his way into the home side’s penalty area before slotting the ball home to claim his first goal for the club.
It proved to be his final act of the game as Stephen O’Donnell turned to his bench to introduce all five substitutes, including Luke Mulligan, who entered the fray to become the youngest player to pull on a Dundalk shirt in a competitive fixture.
Mulligan, Muller, Eoin Kenny and Daryl Horgan all went close to adding a fourth towards the end as Dundalk saw it out comfortably to open Group A with a win.
Next up for the Lilywhites is a Louth Derby clash with Drogheda United at Oriel Park on Friday, February 2nd – a game that also doubles up as the Jim Malone Cup – before the group culminates in another home tie against Bohemians on Bank Holiday Monday, February 5th.
MALAHIDE UNITED: Brian Kane, James Hendricken, Robbie Byrne, Thomas Lynch, Shane Carthy, Mark Cassidy, Philip Rusk, Karl Sheppard, Stephen Cleary, Jordan Briggs, Alan O’Shaughnessy. Subs: Marcus Fitzmaurice (GK), Fionn Tighe, Stephen Brady, Jack Sherry, Shane Day, Cormac Herlihy, Gavin Murphy.
DUNDALK FC: Sean Molloy, Archie Davies (Luke Mulligan 60), Mayowa Animasahun, Tom McLoughlin (Andy Boyle 60), Jamie Walker, Robbie Benson (Daryl Horgan 60), Hayden Muller, Paul Doyle (Koen Oostenbrink 60), Robbie Mahon, Cami Elliott (Eoin Kenny 60), Ryan O’Kane. Subs not used: Samuel Safaei (GK), Sean Keogh.
REFEREE: Owen Murphy.
|January 21, 2024
|Leinster Senior Cup
|2024 League of Ireland