Murray pleased to notch brace in “important” win
Two goals from striker Ronan Murray helped Dundalk get back to winning ways on Friday night with a 3-0 win over Cobh Ramblers in the FAI Cup first round at Oriel Park.
The Mayo native was delighted to get back on the scoresheet with a brace, but was more pleased that his goals helped the Lilywhites get back into the winning habit.
“It was very important to get back to winning ways,” the 26-year-old told dundalkfc.com. “That was the goal before the game and we tried to do it in a bit of style, but the first half was a bit of a struggle for us.
“Mickey [Duffy] had a chance at the back stick in the first minute and he normally puts those away with his eyes closed. Unfortunately that didn’t go in, but we eventually got the goal and that settled us down.
“Second half we kicked on and I thought our experience and our class showed.”
Murray broke the deadlock on 31 minutes following good play by Robbie Benson and Michael Duffy and then, after Jamie McGrath extended the lead soon after half time, the former Galway United striker put the seal on the win with his second goal late on.
“The first was just a burst from myself going into the back stick,” said Murray. “Mickey’s fired a great ball across and it was just an easy tap-in.
“For the second, Sean Gannon has put a great ball across the front and I’ve just got a little flick to guide it into the far post. I was happy with those and it’s great to get the win.
“It’s been a frustrating period for myself personally, so it’s great to get back out there and get back on the scoresheet. The lads played mighty in the second half and a 3-0 win is great.”
After a testing week which saw the Lilywhites knocked out of the Europa League and EA Sports Cup within a few days, Murray said the whole squad were keen to get what has been an otherwise impressive season to date right back on track.
He said: “It’s been a bit surreal getting knocked out of two competitions in one week, but we got together and said that we can’t turn a bad week into a bad season.
“The season has been phenomenal really, so that was basically the pep talk. Just to get the win tonight was the most important thing.”
Next up for Dundalk is a trip to the Carlisle Grounds in Bray on Friday as they seek to extend a club record 11-game winning streak in the league and reclaim top spot in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, for 48 hours at least.
Opponents Bray Wanderers are rooted to the bottom of the table with just 15 points from 28 games but, with the Seagulls making life difficult for Dundalk on more than one occasion this season, Murray knows that there is no danger of complacency within the squad.
“They gave us a tough game in our first game down there, when we rode our luck a lot, and they took points of us in the first game of the season,” he added.
“So they’re a bit of a bogey side for us, but we know what we have to do. We have to work hard, put in a good week’s work in training and we’ll be ready to face them.”