Lilywhites Secure Victory At Brandywell
Dundalk went into the midseason break with a superb 4-0 win over Derry City at the Brandywell.
Robbie Benson’s first half strike was added to in the second half by goals from Dylan Connolly, Patrick Hoban and former Candystripe Michael Duffy to seal an emphatic victory.
Rory Patterson had the first meaningful effort in the third minute when he caught Gary Rogers off his line and struck from the halfway line however the ball went harmlessly wide.
Michael Duffy responded for the Lilywhites when he found space on the edge of the area but his curling effort went inches wide of the right hand post.
Dundalk controlled possession without creating much of note in the first 20 minutes.
Jamie McGrath had an effort blocked from the edge of the area while Duffy got ahead of Doherty to the ball however the goalkeeper recovered well to deny the winger a simple tap in.
Aaron McEneff almost gave the hosts the lead when he took advantage of space 20 yards from goal but his strike was palmed away by Rogers to keep the danger out.
Dundalk were in control of possession but couldn’t find the final chance. Duffy was causing problems and he ghosted into space to get on the end of McGrath’s cross but his downward volley was saved easily by Doherty.
Hoban was on the end of Duffy’s cut back and his shot seemed to wrong foot Doherty however the goalkeeper did well to check back and gather the strike at the second attempt.
The deadlock would be broken 5 minutes before the break.
McGrath found himself through on goal from Gartland’s ball over the top and he pulled it back for Hoban and he laid it off to Duffy. His touch was heavy and the ball was cleared but only as far as Benson who took a touch and scuffed his shot from the edge of the area and the ball went in off the post.
Dundalk led 1-0 at the break and almost made it 2-0 straight after the interval when Dane Massey tried his luck from 20 yards but his shot dipped just over the bar.
Hoban then scooped the ball into the path of Duffy but his effort was blocked into the path of Benson but he fired over from distance.
McEneff broke the pressure with a shot which was blocked by Cleary before Connolly went forward at pace however his shot was scuffed and was easily cleared.
It would be 2-0 though just after the hour mark. Duffy found space on the left and his cross found the head of Hoban. His header came crashing off the crossbar with Doherty beaten but Connolly reacted quickest to the loose ball and rifled to the empty net.
McGrath tried from 20 yards but his drive was inches over the crossbar as Dundalk looked to extend their lead before Duffy really should have made it 3-0 when his run was found by Massey’s clever flick but he somehow fired over the bar from 10 yards with the goal at his mercy.
It would be 3-0 though with 15 left on the watch when the excellent McGrath’s cross was deflected into the path of Hoban at the back post and he made no mistake beating Doherty.
Connolly almost made it 4-0 when he glided in from the right to the centre of the area and got on the end of Duffy’s layoff but he curled his effort inches wide of the post.
It would be 4-0 with 8 minutes left. Substitute Krisztián Adorján found space 20 yards from goal and utilised it perfectly to lift it to Duffy. He steadied himself before showing outstanding technique to fire to the top right corner on the volley.
There was still work to be done at the other end and the two Hale’s combined with Rory crossing for Ronan but his header was somehow kept out with one hand by Rogers.
Hoban looked like he had grabbed his second in the final minute of injury-time when he headed to the net after Ronan Murray’s strike came back off the post however it was ruled out for offside.
That was the final action of a superb win for Dundalk and ended the first part of the season in style going into the summer recess.
DERRY CITY: Ger Doherty (capt); Jamie McDonagh, Conor McDermott, Eoin Toal, Jack Doyle; Aaron McEneff, Darren Cole, Rory Hale, Ben Doherty; Ronan Hale, Rory Patterson (Cathal Farren 69).
Substitutes not used: Eric Grimes (GK), Evan Tweed, Adrian Delap, Niall Logue, Sean McBride, Shane McNamee.
Booked: McEneff (35), Patterson (35), McDonagh (53)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Hore, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Sean Gannon 75), Robbie Benson; Dylan Connolly (Krisztián Adorján 80), Jamie McGrath (Ronan Murray 83), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Stephen Folan, Marco Tagbajumi, Dean Jarvis.
Booked: Shields (35)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.