Joe Adams was the star of the show as we marked our first visit to Eamonn Deacy Park since 2017 with a 3-0 win over Galway United on Wednesday night.
The Welshman helped himself to a couple of assists before scoring a sublime effort of his own in a blistering opening 25-minute spell that blew John Caulfield’s Galway United side away in our penultimate pre-season friendly ahead of the SSE Airtricity League opener against Derry City on February 18th.
“We’re just a few games away from the start of the season so it was good to get a win and it was also nice to get my stats up and running as well,” smiled Adams afterwards.
“I started in Waterford on Saturday and it was good to get some more minutes in my legs. I had a knock when I came over but I feel I’m back at full pelt now and I’m looking forward to the season getting underway.”
Starting on the left of a front three, Adams took centre stage after just seven minutes when his pinpoint delivery from the flank fell kindly for housemate Paul Doyle who turned home his second goal of pre-season.
The former Brentford winger supplied the ammunition again in the 24th minute when he whipped in a corner from the left and Darragh Leahy powered a header past the Galway ‘keeper with the aid of a deflection. It was Leahy’s first goal since he scored at the same venue for Bohemians in an FAI Cup tie back in August 2018.
Adams capped a stunning opening when he showed brilliant footwork to cut back in from the left before dinking a sensational finish over the Galway netminder to make it 3-0 with just 25 minutes on the clock.
“I just cut inside instinctively,” said Adams. “I don’t quite know what the goalkeeper was doing but it gave me the chance to lift it over him.”
Twenty-four hours after his arrival on a season-long loan from Hibernian, Steven Bradley was handed his Dundalk debut on the opposite wing to Adams. The 19-year-old Scot impressed for 73 minutes and was unlucky not to mark his first appearance in a white shirt with a goal.
“Steven showed his quality tonight,” said Adams. “He was very good and went close on a couple to scoring on a couple of occasions. He’s living in the house with myself, Paul, Dan Williams and Nathan Shepperd and he has settled in straight away which is great for him and us.”
After starting the game with Waterford on the substitutes bench, Mark Connolly came in to partner Sam Bone at the heart of the back four while Dan Williams played the full 90 minutes at right-back.
Next up for the Lilywhites is the final pre-season outing of 2022 when Drogheda United visit Oriel Park in the Jim Malone Cup on February 11th. Kickoff at 7.45pm.
GALWAY UNITED: Trialist (Conor Kearns 59); Stephen Walsh (Killian Brouder 59), Evan O’Connor (Alex Murphy 59), Charlie Lyons, Trialist (Conor O’Keefe 59); Shane Doherty (Trialist 59), Gary Boylan (Ronan Bambara 85), Conor McCormack (Dave Hurley 59), Trialist (Mikie Rowe 59); Francely Lomboto (Wilson Waweru, 59), Manu Dimas (Jordan Adeyemo 59).
DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd; Dan Williams, Mark Connolly, Sam Bone, Darragh Leahy (Mark Hanratty 73); Paul Doyle, Robbie Benson (Michael Keyes 57); Steven Bradley (Ryan O’Kane 73), Keith Ward (David McMillan 57), Joe Adams (Patrick Hoban 57); John Martin. Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (GK), Tadhg Walsh, Craig Moore.