An ill wind
Dundalk ... 0 Kildare County ... 0 Most worrying for Dundalk at Oriel Park on Thursday night was the shortage of scoring chances as they held out for a draw with Kildare County, the sixth of the League campaigns eight matches so far.
True, a swirling wind made life difficult but Anthony Fennelly was by far the busiest ‘keeper and deserved a pat on the back from his team-mates for three fine saves during the course of a very poor game.
Dundalk are now tenth of twelve in the First Division and only lead tomorrow (Thursday) night’s opponents Monaghan Utd. on goal difference. A massive eleven points off pacesetters Bray Wanderers, the Lilywhites need to progress up the table soon.
Trevor Anderson made three changes from the side that drew 3-3 away to Kilkenny City. Shane Reddish, Dessie Gorman and Chris Lawless started in place of Sean Watters, Simon Kelly and the ill Garry Haylock.
A powerful Lawless header apart, which was defected out for a corner early on, Dundalk rarely threatened Wayne Russell’s goal in the first half. At the other end a ball from Alan Keely, son of Kildare County manager Dermot, released Philip Gorman in the 35th minute and his shot was blocked by Fennelly’s legs.
On the stroke of half-time the netminder may have been caught a little by surprise when Shay Zellor tried his luck from long distance but he was still able to push the ball away at the expense of a corner.
In the 58th minute Fennelly spared Sean Kelly’s blushes. Kelly doesn’t seem suited to the full back position but that doesn’t excuse how he was caught out by Zellor who fired in a shot which once more the ‘keeper was equal to.
Dundalk’s most promising move didn’t arrive until fifteen minutes from the finish. Ciaran Kavanagh put Gorman away down the right. He crossed the ball to David Ward but the striker shot over from a great position right in front of goal. While he can be a mazy dribbler of the ball and is capable of running at defenders, Ward isn’t a reliable finisher.
In the 81st minute Paul Byrne’s 35 yard free-kick into the town-end goal screamed not far wide of an upright and you got the impression it was only from such an avenue that Dundalk might trouble a Kildare County outfit quite content to hoof the ball forward to see what happened.
Team: Fennelly; Reddish, McCartney, Curran, Sean Kelly; Byrne (Simon Kelly, 90), Kavanagh (Gilmour, 83), Sliney, Lawless; Gorman, Ward. Subs not used, Nicholl, Markey, Gallagher.