Wexford FC 2-4 Dundalk FC U14

EA Sports U14 National Underage League Shield Quarter Final

Danny Putnam’s free-kick secured Dundalk’s place in the semi-finals of the EA Sports U14 National Underage League Shield in Wexford on Saturday. 

The game got off to a rough start for the Lilywhites as they struggled to cope with the physicality of the home side in the early stages, and Wexford capitalised to take the lead inside 10 minutes, with Keane Howick providing the finishing touch.

Dundalk managed to settle into the game after 20 minutes and took control of proceedings, creating a couple of good half-chances.

Simon Kelly’s side continued to threaten and they finally found an equaliser on the half-hour mark. A well-worked corner kick routine from Putnam found Cian Murphy on the edge of the box, and he rifled his effort into the back of the net to draw the sides level.

Fionn McNamara and Niall O’Connor were introduced at halftime and had a positive impact as Dundalk were well on top in the early stages of the second half and they continued to create goalscoring opportunities.

It wasn’t long before the Lilywhites took the lead, as Niko Lovrenkovic found Jayden Clarke with a superb pass and Clarke produced a calm finish to slot home. A few minutes later the visitors were on the scoresheet again, as Luke Mulligan glanced a header into the corner from another quality set-piece to make it 3-1.

Danny Putnam then ensured victory with a long-range free-kick that went over the goalkeeper’s head and into the net to make it 4-1 to the away side.

Wexford tried to get back into the game and they managed to pull a goal back through Kaylem Harnett but they couldn’t mount a comeback as Dundalk saw the game out to progress to the semi-finals.

Now just one win away from the final, the players will be confident of reaching the final and winning their first trophy together come the end of November.

DUNDALK FC U14: Graham Donner, Rhys O’Hare, Cian Murphy, Luke Mulligan, Caimin Hughes, Lashawn Lombard, Eanna Curran, Danny Putnam, Jayden Clarke, Conall Alfred, Niko Lovrenkovic. Subs: Calum O’Reilly, Fionn McNamara, Niall O’Connor, Boris Biekhou, Conall Alfred, Fergal McEneaney, Runako Sweetman.