Lilywhites Take All Three At UCD
Dundalk were 3-1 winners on Easter Monday at Belfield over UCD.
Yoyo Mahdy had given UCD the lead before Patrick Hoban, Michael Duffy and Georgie Kelly netted to seal victory for the Lilywhites.
Dundalk were on the front foot early on and Michael Duffy found space on the left side of the area after Dean Jarvis found him with a throw-in however he dragged it wide.
It was almost a bizarre opener in the 9th minute when Josh Collins’ back pass wasn’t controlled by the goalkeeper however it went out for a corner.
From the corner, Jamie McGrath found captain Brian Gartland however he could only guide it wide.
UCD took the lead against the run of play when Conor David threaded the ball through to Yoyo Mahdy and he slotted the ball past Gary Rogers in the 11th minute.
Dundalk would get their equaliser moments later when Daniel Kelly did brilliantly to get in behind Josh Collins who could only bring him down inside the area and referee Damien MacGraith pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Hoban who dispatched the spot kick powerfully to level the game and also equal the Dundalk FC all-time record goal haul in league competition with Joey Donnelly which has stood since 1939.
Duffy then had another effort,t his time from a free-kick, and it looked destined for the top corner however it was well saved by Kearns.
Neil Farrugia was denied by Rogers who got down well to save at his near post and Gartland had another header but he was well off target from Duffy’s kick.
Duffy almost provided the perfect assist for Hoban just before the half hour mark when he chested down Patrick McEleney’s crossfield ball. His touch took him back from Dan Tobin and his cross found Hoban but he nodded it straight at the goalkeeper.
Jamie McGrath received the ball from a poor clearance by the UCD goalkeeper and he advanced on goal and curled an effort inches wide of the post with the goalkeeper rooted to the line.
Kearns was called into action shortly after that when McGrath’s cross was deflected into the path of Chris Shields and he unleashed a powerful drive which was goalbound but the goalkeeper kept it out.
Duffy then volleyed home from a corner however the referee had already blown for half-time and the sides went in level.
The Derry man wouldn’t be denied and in the fifth minute of the second half he got his goal.
McGrath showed excellent footwork and laid it off to Duffy on the edge of the area. He took a sumptuous touch to take all defenders out of it and rounded the goalkeeper before firing to the net from an acute angle.
McGrath had a chance to make it 3-1 but his volley, from Duffy’s cross, was over the bar.
Hoare was next with a header from McGrath’s corner but he was just inches wide of the left hand post.
A rapid break saw Duffy and Hoban link up with the latter forcing a good save from Kearns and the follow up was closed in by Kelly but ruled offside.
UCD almost grabbed an equaliser when Farrugia found himself in the box however, Jarvis made a last ditch tackle to save the day.
Hoban was on a mission to earn the league goalscoring record outright and his header looked bound for the net when McGrath found him from the corner however it went just wide.
UCD pushed for a leveller however they were caught on the break in injury-time when Rogers found substitute Jordan Flores and he fed it to fellow sub Georgie Kelly. He dummied brilliantly before calmly slotting it to the net.
That was the final action of the night as Dundalk made it 3 wins in a week.
UCD: Conor Kearns; Dan Tobin, Paul Doyle, Liam Scales, Josh Collins; Timmy Molloy, Sean McDonald (Jason McClelland 69), Gary O’Neill (capt), Yoyo Mahdy, Neil Farrugia; Conor Davis (Richie O’Farrell 80).
Substitutes not used: Gavin Sheridan (GK), Evan Farrell, Darragh Corcoran, Mark Dignam, Kevin Coffey.
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Patrick McEleney (John Mountney 75); Daniel Kelly (Jordan Flores 86), Jamie McGrath, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Georgie Kelly 80).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Dane Massey, Daniel Cleary, Joe McKee.
Booked: Hoban (52)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Damien MacGraith