Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell said he had no complaints about Friday night’s 1-1 draw with UCD at Oriel Park.

After seeing Patrick Hoban’s early penalty saved by Lorcan Healy, John Martin opened Dundalk’s account for 2023 when he sidefooted home in the 34th minute.

A scrappy second half followed and the 3,216 people in Oriel were left stunned when Ciaran Behan’s stunning free-kick earned the Students a share of the spoils with 77 minutes played.

And, speaking afterwards, O’Donnell said Dundalk couldn’t argue with the outcome.

On the result….
“We obviously got our noses in front and we should have kicked on and won the game but we became very scrappy. Whenever a game goes like that, and you don’t force your will on the opponent and go and hammer home the advantage, you always leave yourself susceptible to a little bit of a sucker and that’s what happened. We’re disappointed, there’s no other way of putting it, more so probably from our physicality and what we brought to the game in that regard than anything else.”

“They went man to man against us, they’re athletically good and they deserve their point. I’m not gonna say any different. I don’t think we did enough to come in here and say comprehensively, yeah, we deserved to win the game.”

On John Martin…
“After the first week of pre-season last year, John had a niggle and was out for a few weeks but he’s in really good physical condition now. He took up a good position for the goal, coming in narrow on the loop and it was a good finish. It was very positive for him to get on the scoresheet.”

On Daniel Kelly’s return…
“I thought he looked sharp for the few minutes that he was on. This week was probably his first proper week in training so he’ll keep progressing but that’ll be good for his confidence with his hamstring. It’s great for him mentally and he can look forward to a good week’s training now next week.”

On the attendance…
“It was a brilliant crowd. They’ll be going home frustrated and won’t be too optimistic from what they saw tonight and that’s our issue. We’re going to need the crowd. It’s kind of a new team again so we’re looking forward to seeing them in their big numbers next Friday away at Dalymount Park.”