McEleney puts finishing touch on Dundalk's Galway cruise
Dundalk 2 Galway Utd 0
Three straight wins, 12 goals scored and none conceded, Dundalk's return to action following the mid-season break has been flawless but there is still a feeling in these parts that Stephen Kenny's team have more to offer.
After six- and four-goal wins over Drogheda United and Finn Harps, Galway United were the latest side to be swept aside by the Lilywhites in a fixture brought forward because of Dundalk's upcoming Champions League commitments.
The Rosenborg scouting team will have learned very little from what they saw at Oriel Park last night with Dundalk controlling the game from the start. There is no doubt that the Norwegian kingpins will present a much stiffer examination than the one posed by the struggling visitors here.
Defeat to Bray on Friday night left Galway rooted to the bottom of the table and they showed nothing to suggest that they will find an escape route.
They will say that their battles lie elsewhere and manager Shane Keegan's team selection, which showed six changes to the side beaten 72 hours earlier, suggested that the Tribesmen's focus was solely on what could be a relegation six-pointer with St Patrick's Athletic this Friday.
Ireland internationals Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan paid a visit and saw their old team-mates make a positive start. Horgan's younger brother Colm hacked a David McMillan effort off the line early on with Chris Shields' deflected follow-up just rolling the wrong side of Conor Winn's upright.
The hosts continued to pin Galway back and the breakthrough inevitably arrived in the 16th minute when Dane Massey took advantage of some poor marking to plant a Michael Duffy corner past Winn.
The Tribesmen rarely ventured past the halfway line after that but despite being completely outplayed they restricted the champions to half chances for the remainder of the first half. Robbie Benson dragged an effort wide of the upright while Sean Hoare just couldn't divert a volley on target.
Paddy Barrett should have doubled the lead two minutes after the break but he headed a Duffy corner over the top.
Winn had to race from his line to deny McMillan after a through pass from Shields in the 57th minute. Kenny's side needed a second to seal it and it finally arrived three minutes past the hour when McEleney fired home after a bout of pinball in the Galway box.
Dundalk - Rogers; Gannon, Hoare, Barrett, Massey; Shields, Benson; Duffy (Mountney 71), McEleney, McGrath (Stewart 84); McMillan (Kilduff 69).
Galway United - Winn; Horgan, Folan, Grace, Ludden; Sinnott, Byrne; Shanahan (Murray 71), Melody (Conway 87), Devaney; Faherty (McCormack 87).
Ref - R Harvey.