Lilywhites Secure Hard Fought Win
Dundalk made it two wins from two to begin the 2020 SSE Airtricity League with a 2-1 win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
First half goals from Andy Boyle and Patrick Hoban gave the Lilywhites a 2-0 half-time lead. Gary Deegan pulled one back straight after the break and they pushed for a leveller however Vinny Perth’s men held on for what was a hard fought victory.
It was a scrappy opening with both sides getting used to the conditions and a couple of early yellows for either side set the tone.
The Lilywhites did take the lead in the 18th minute when Michael Duffy’s corner was cleverly flicked on by Sean Hoare at the near post. It fell to his centre back partner Andy Boyle who had the simplest of tasks to tap in from close range.
That settled Dundalk into a rhythm with Greg Sloggett letting fly after Duffy’s good run and layoff however it was charged down by Aidan Friel.
Duffy then almost got on the scoresheet himself when he used the breeze for his shot from 20 yards but it was inches over the crossbar with Brady stranded.
Sloggett got beyond the defence next and his shot across goal was cut out at the vital moment as Dundalk looked to add to their lead.
Dundalk would extend their lead inside the last 5 minutes of the half when an outstanding Duffy free-kick found the glancing head of Patrick Hoban and his touch made it a deserved 2-0 lead.
The half-time break with the score at 2-0 but the hosts would make an impact after the re-start.
Former Lilywhite Ciaran Kilduff got free and fired across goal before Deegan’s shot from outside the box went in off the post after Dundalk failed to clear a corner.
The conditions worsened which led to the match descending into a scrap again with both sides struggling with the breeze and the rain.
Duffy broke the trend and got a shot away but was blocked as was Flores’ free-kick when he struck from distance.
The follow up from Hoban was miles wide of the target.
Hoban almost made amends for it with 15 minutes left on the watch when he got his head on to Duffy’s free-kick but it whistled past the right hand post.
The ball then fell to Massey who looked like he had the simplest of tasks of making it 3-1 however his goalbound effort was expertly deflected away to safety by Daniel O’Reilly.
Karl Sheppard looked like he was through on goal but Rogers rushed off his line brilliantly to clear the danger.
There was something of an onslaught from Shels but Dundalk dealt with everything they threw at them and took all three points.
SHELBOURNE: Jack Brady; Daniel O’Reilly, Aidan Friel, Luke Byrne, Alex O’Hanlon; Gary Deegan (Ryan Brennan 75), Georgie Poynton (Sean Quinn 71); Karl Sheppard, Jaze Kabia, Aaron Dobbs (Shane Farrell 58); Ciaran Kilduff.
Substitutes not used: Colin McCabe (GK), Dayle Rooney, Oscar Brennan, Lorcan Fitzgerald.
Booked: Deegan (16), Quinn (76), Friel (79)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Sean Hoare, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Jordan Flores (Darragh Leahy 89); Cammy Smith (Daniel Kelly 58), Greg Sloggett, Michael Duffy (Brian Gartland 85); Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Will Patching, Daniel Cleary, Lido Lotefa.
Booked: Sloggett (12), Shields (52), Flores (64), Kelly (90)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Damien MacGraith