Lilywhites Advance To Last 8
Dundalk booked their place in the last 8 of the Irish Daily Mail Cup with a 2-0 win over Finn Harps on Friday night.
Ronan Murray struck a first half penalty and Georgie Kelly bagged his first goal for the club in the second half as the Lilywhites move on to the quarter-finals.
Daniel Cleary had our first effort of note on the night when he headed goalwards from Ronan Murray’s corner however Ciaran Gallagher was equal to it.
It was Finn Harps though who came closest to opening the scoring when Mark Timlin’s free-kick clipped the side netting from 30 yards with a superb strike.
John Mountney responded brilliantly when he unleashed a rasping drive but it smashed the crossbar and fell to safety.
Sean Hoare’s glancing header from a pinpoint Patrick McEleney cross was inches wide while Georgie Kelly forced Gallagher into a superb save after a shot on the edge of the area.
The Lilywhites took the lead in the 24th minute when Dane Massey danced into the box and forced a foul from Jacob Borg.
Murray took the ball and he rifled the ball home for his third FAI Cup goal of the season.
Dundalk went in search of a second when Mountney broke forward and got on the end of Gannon’s ball but his shot was straight at Gallagher while at the other end Timlin did exceptionally well to get in behind the defence but his left footed effort was tipped over the bar by Gabriel Sava.
As the half drew to a close Gannon was next to try his luck with an audacious dipping volley however it was just over Gallagher’s crossbar.
Into the second half Patrick McEleney opened up from 25 yards and fired towards goal however he missed the target and Timlin’s excellent corner for Harps was headed narrowly wide by Niall Logue.
Dundalk would make it 2-0 on 52 minutes when a clever ball in behind from Dean Jarvis found Murray on the left and his cross on the run was expertly nodded home by Kelly for his first goal in the Lilywhite jersey.
Mountney and Gannon linked up superbly on the right and it was the latter’s flick to McEleney which set up the chance. He got the ball out of his feet however his audacious lob from 25 yards cleared the crossbar.
Kelly looked like he had added a second after a brilliant take down and finish from a Gannon cross but the flag was up for offside.
The Donegal native had another chance to get his brace however he headed wide from Connolly’s cross.
Connolly then found himself free after showing a superb burst of pace behind the defence but his shot across goal was inches wide with Murray waiting at the back post.
Kelly was next to turn provider when his superb chest down and pass to Connolly put the winger in however his shot was smothered by Gallagher.
Some quick touches between Mountney and substitute Patrick Hoban set up Murray for a crack but he dragged his effort just wide from 20 yards while Cleary finished the match as he started it with a header but couldn’t find the net.
That proved to be the final action as we advance to the quarter-finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup.
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon (Stephen Folan 89), Daniel Cleary, Sean Hoare, Dane Massey (capt); John Mountney, Dean Jarvis; Dylan Connolly, Patrick McEleney (Mchael Duffy 75), Ronan Murray; Georgie Kelly (Patrick Hoban 84)
Substitutes not used: Gary Rogers (GK), Chris Shields, Jamie McGrath, Stephen Folan, Robbie Benson.
Sent off: None.
FINN HARPS: Ciaran Gallagher; John Kavanagh (Jese Devers 77), Ciaran Coll, Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan (capt), Niall Logue; Mark Timlin, Gareth Harkin, Tommy McBride, (Mikey Place 66) Mark Coyle, Nathan Boyle (Oluwatunmise Sobowale 66).
Substitutes not used: Peter Burke (GK), Aidan Friel, John O’Flynn, Paddy McCourt.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin