Galway United 0-3 Dundalk
Two headed goals from Mickey Collins and another strike from Alex Williams secured a comfortable 3-0 victory for Dundalk over Galway United at Terryland Park on Friday night as the Lilywhites gave themselves some breathing space in the race to avoid the relegation playoff places. Sean Connor had three debutants in his starting lineup but they settled into the side quickly and the visitors made their dominance count on the scoreboard as they equalled their biggest victory of the season, and their biggest away win in the Premier Division since 2002.
Peter Cherrie was one of the new faces in the Dundalk team as Chris Bennion was dropped for the first time in two years, and the former Clyde ‘keeper was joined in the team by fellow new recruits Michael McGowan and Kevin McKinlay, who received clearance to play earlier in the day. And Cherrie almost created the opening goal for the Lilywhites on 17 minutes as his long punt forward was almost seized upon by Williams, only for home ’keeper Barry Ryan to get there first.
Galway then enjoyed a strong period of pressure during which Alan Murphy and Vinny Faherty went close. However, they were made to pay for their failure to fire in front of goal as Dundalk hit the front just before the half-hour mark when Collins rose highest to power a McKinlay corner to the net. Tiarnán Mulvenna, playing on the right wing, almost doubled his side’s advantage before the break but Dundalk had to wait a little longer to make it two. That deserved second eventually came on 59 minutes as Williams pounced on Ger Rowe’s pass to drill a delightful shot past Ryan.
Galway were struggling to find their feet and any kind of cutting edge without the services of suspended captain Jay O’Shea, and Dundalk wrapped up the points with 19 minutes remaining as Collins grabbed his second of the evening. Again it was McKinlay’s corner that provided the assist as the former Portadown midfielder again got his head to the ball first, and it could have been worse for the Tribesmen had Chris Turner or Williams been more clinical late on. Dundalk are now seven points clear of the bottom three thanks to Bray’s win in Drogheda and will further extend that cushion if they can secure another Louth derby victory next Friday.
GALWAY UNITED FC (4-4-2): Barry Ryan; Seamus Conneely, Garry Breen, Sean Kelly, Iarfhlaith Davoren; John Russell, Cian McBrien, David Cooke, Mark O’Toole (Paul Synott 60); Alan Murphy (Jason Molloy 70), Vinny Faherty.
Unused Subs: Ger Hanley (GK), Shane Fitzgerald, Simon Walsh.
DUNDALK FC (4-4-2): Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Simon Kelly, Thomas Heary, Michael McGowan; Tiarnán Mulvenna (Paul McAreavey 78), Mickey Collins (Michael Coburn 80), Chris Turner, Michael McKinlay; Ger Rowe, Alex Williams.
Goals: M Collins (28, 71), A Williams (59).
Unused Subs: Chris Bennion (GK), Liam Burns, Darren Mansaram.
Referee: Declan Hanney (Dublin).