Lilywhites Return Home With A Win
Dundalk recorded their biggest win of the 2019 campaign on Friday night as they were 5-0 winners against Finn Harps.
Daniel Kelly’s first half strike was added to by Georgie, Jamie McGrath and a brace from Patrick McEleney all in the second half to give the Lilywhites all three points and maintain their lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League.
It was a scrappy opening with both sides struggling to gain a foothold in the game. Sam Todd and Daniel Kelly traded shots for either side before Patrick McEleney had the first real opening of the game when he beautifully jinked to the right and crashed his effort off the crossbar.
Sean Murray would be next to try his luck but his shot was just wide of the post.
It wouldn’t be long until the Lilywhites did open their account for the night.
It was on 36 minutes when Harry Ascroft gave the ball away to Daniel Kelly and he worked an opening for himself before firing brilliantly past McGinley to put Dundalk in front.
Harps would be reduced to ten men just before the break as Mark Russell picked up his second yellow in succession leaving Graham Kelly to brandish a red card.
Sean Hoare looked like he had added a second on the stroke of half-time however McGinley did well to tip it around the post.
Dane Massey had a go early in the second half but his shot was just wide and Georgie Kelly then had an effort saved by McGinley in what was a wonderful stop from point blank range.
McEleney was next to test McGinley but the goalkeeper was able to push it around the post to safety.
Murray then forced an excellent save from the goalkeeper once again from 12 yards and the follow up fell to Hoare however it was well wide.
Dundalk looked to have added the second they deserved when Georgie bundled the ball home however he was deemed to be in an offside position.
Georgie would get on the scoresheet though when he capitalised on a mistake by Joshua Smith and slid the ball home acrobatically despite the best efforts of McGinley just before the hour mark.
It was 3-0 moments later when McEleney bagged his first of the season with a smart finish after he reacted quickest to Cameron Dummigan’s cross.
Substitute Jamie McGrath got in on the act when he brilliantly finished from McEleney’s outstanding outside of the foot cross giving McGinley no chance and making it 4-0 as we approached the final 15 minutes.
Patrick Hoban nearly added a fifth as he directed his header goalwards from McEleney’s beautiful cross however it was straight at McGinley.
Dummigan turned provider again almost as he found his fellow full-back Massey however Dane couldn’t generate enough power and McGinley saved.
Hoban then found himself in behind but his shot was blazed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
John Mountney then was slipped in perfectly by Dummigan however his shot, from an acute angle, was just wide of the target.
McEleney danced his way through the visiting defence and unleashed a superb shot from the edge of the area however it was palmed away to safety by McGinley.
The number 11 would get his second and it was the best goal of the night as he was on the end of McGrath’s wonderful through ball and he delightfully chipped McGinley in the 89th minute on what was his 100th appearance for the club.
That was the final action of note on the night as Vinny Perth’s men move on to the EA SPORTS Cup semi-final against Bohemians on Monday.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Cameron Dummigan, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Chris Shields 72), Sean Murray; Daniel Kelly, Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy (Jamie McGrath 65); Georgie Kelly (Patrick Hoban 71).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle.
Booked: Shields (72)
Sent off: None.
FINN HARPS: Mark Anthony McGinley; Daniel O’Reilly, Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Mark Russell, Gareth Harkin, Rory Harkin (Tony McNamee 66), Harry Ascroft (Raffaele Cretaro 78), Nathan Boyle; Mikey Place (Joshua Smith 46).
Substitutes not used: Peter Burke (GK), Colm Deasy, Shaun Doherty, Liam Walsh.
Booked: Russell (17, 40)
Sent off: Russell (40)
Referee: Graham Kelly