Thursday 23 February 2017

Patrick McEleney off the mark as Dundalk stroll past Finn Harps

Dundalk 3 0 Finn Harps

11 March 2016; Patrick McEleney celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Dundalk v Finn Harps. Oriel Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
11 March 2016; Patrick McEleney celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Dundalk v Finn Harps. Oriel Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Dundalk’s quest for three-in-a-row is well and truly up and running after Stephen Kenny’s side opened their home campaign with a routine victory over newly promoted Finn Harps.

Much has been made in pre-season about Richie Towell’s departure, and how Dundalk will replace his 29 goals from midfield, but one of the strengths of Kenny’s side is their ability to spread the goals around.

Every outfield player hit the back of the net as the Louth club marched to the league and cup double last season and with just two games played this term, four different players – five if you include the Harps own goal which finished off the scoring here – have already put their name on the scoresheet.

The first goal arrived in the 16th minute from a tried and trusted route. Darren Meenan sent in a corner and centre-back Paddy Barrett left Richard Brush helpless with a header from 12 yards.

Ollie Horgan’s Harps arrived with five players missing from the side that started the season with a thrilling derby victory over Derry City and they were fortunate not to go in further behind at the break with the woodwork denying Patrick McEleney’s glancing header right on the interval.

Things may have been different if Ryan Curran’s 52nd minute snapshot had gone inside Gary Rogers’ post, instead of drifting just wide but Dundalk opened up after that and the second arrived in the 59th minute.

Dane Massey’s cut back from the left was on the money for McEleney to hit his first goal for his new club.

The game was put to bed with 15 minutes to go when Daryl Horgan’s corner ended up in the net, the final touch coming off a blue shirt; and Horgan, himself, almost put the icing on the cake with a sublime curling effort that just cleared the bar.

DUNDALK – Rogers; Gannon, Barrett, Boyle, Massey; Shields, Finn; Meenan (Mountney 69), McEleney (Benson 70), Horgan; Kilduff (McMillan 72).

FINN HARPS – Brush; Boyle, McNulty, Cowan, Coll; Hanlon (Flatley 67), Funston, Foy, Harkin (McHugh 78), Scully; Curran (Crossan 78).

REF – R Matthew

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