Gorman brace adds to Dundalk woes
SHELBOURNE 4 DUNDALK 0
DUNDALK are fighting for survival off the pitch and Tolka Park last night was the wrong place to come in search of a morale-boosting result.
To their credit, Sean McCaffrey's men ignored the threats to the club's continued participation in the Premier Division and put in a workmanlike performance on a treacherous surface that wasn't improved by constant rain.
However, Shels were not in the mood to extend fraternal sympathy to their hard-pressed PFAI brethren, at least not until the game was over. They dominated the first half, keeping Dundalk 'keeper Peter Cherrie on the alert. Lively winger Paddy Kavanagh, midfielder Kevin Dawson and the ever-busy Philly Hughes gave Cherrie a few frights before they finally made the breakthrough on the half hour mark.
Philly Gorman put Hughes in space to deliver a rasping shot which Cherrie could only parry. The ball came out at the perfect height for the inrushing Gorman to head the first goal.
Dundalk's main threat in the early stages came from striker Michael Rafter. His best chance came after 13 minutes when the skiddy surface helped him beat the covering defence for a one-on-one with Chris Bennion.
Rafter nicked the ball past the 'keeper, who was signed this week after the demise of Monaghan United, but the ball slipped wide of the post.
Dundalk brought on two half-time subs -- Gareth Brady for Waters and Ben McLaughlin for Stephen McDonnell, who had earlier been booked, but they had hardly broken sweat before Shels scored again.
The Reds had upped the pace from the restart and got their reward with a second headed goal by Gorman from a beautifully flighted cross by overlapping full-back Gareth Matthews in the 52nd minute.
Kevin Dawson made it 3-0 just 10 minutes later, racing on to a neat pass by Gorman and keeping his composure before slotting the ball neatly into the corner of the net.
Nothing was going right for the visitors but they gave Shels a scare when John Mountney scampered into the box in the 68th minute with keeper Bennion and the defence stranded.
Mountney got the ball on target but Andy Boyle blocked it and the follow-up attempt by Mark Griffin went wide.
Just 19 minutes from full time, the football gods showed that they don't give a sucker an even break.
Dawson powered forward with the ball again, and hit a hopeful cross into the Dundalk penalty area, where unfortunate substitute McLaughlin knocked the ball into his own net.
Shelbourne -- Bennion; Matthews, Hurley, Boyle, Fitzgerald; Cassidy (C Byrne 71), Sullivan (P Byrne 83), Dawson, Kavanagh (McGill 65); Hughes, Gorman.
Dundalk -- Cherrie; Walsh, Foran, Burns, Osborne; Mountney, Shields, McDonnell (McLaughlin 45), Waters (Brady 45); Rafter (Reilly 67), Griffin.
Ref -- A Kelly (Cork)