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Dundalk draw First Division opposition in FAI Cup

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David McMillan was up front when Dundalk played Wexford in the Premier Division in 2016. Picture: Sportsfile

David McMillan was up front when Dundalk played Wexford in the Premier Division in 2016. Picture: Sportsfile

David McMillan was up front when Dundalk played Wexford in the Premier Division in 2016. Picture: Sportsfile

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Dundalk FC have been drawn to face First Division side Wexford FC away in the second round of the Extra.ie FAI Cup.

The game, due to be played at Ferrycarrig Park on the weekend ending August 28, will be a first Cup meeting between the sides.

Dundalk booked their place in the second round with a 3-0 win over Longford Town on Friday night while Wexford – currently sixth in the First Division – provided one of the shocks of the round with a 2-1 win after extra time away to Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds on Sunday.

Manager Ian Ryan is a former Lilywhites player having made 27 appearances in all competitions under John Gill in the promotion-winning 2008 First Division campaign.

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Ironically the 35-year-old was an unused substitute when Wexford claimed their only ever competitive victory over Dundalk at Ferrycarrig Park in October 2008 – a result that threatened to derail the Lilywhites’ First Division title bid.

Dundalk, who have 11 wins and one draw from their 13 meetings with Wexford, last visited Ferrycarrig Park six years ago in August 2016 when David McMillan scored the only goal just three days after the side’s Champions League play-off defeat against Legia Warsaw.

Before Stephen O’Donnell’s side turn their attention back to the FAI Cup, they have a testing few weeks of league matches to contend with, starting with the visit of Derry City to Oriel Park on Friday night. They will then face trips to face both Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers away before the Wexford game.

“They're tough games but they're good games to look forward to,” said O’Donnell.

“Let it be known they won't be easy games for them teams either,” he said.

While Mark Connolly signed for Friday’s opponents Derry City last week and youngster Mark Hanratty departed for Longford Town, Dundalk strengthened their hand with the captures of midfielder Alfie Lewis from Plymouth Argyle and defender Robbie McCourt from Sligo Rovers, with Norwegian Runar Hauge joining on loan from Hibernian.

Dundalk are also expected to welcome Robbie Benson back from injury for the game with Derry City on Friday night.

Reflecting on the transfer window, O’Donnell said: “Obviously you'd have liked to have kept Mark but that's the way of the world. That's football and it happens in every league. We made our best play and it wasn't to be.

“I’m very happy with my squad though.

“You need competition for places. You name me a team that has been successful that has the bare minimum of players and only uses them. Like Man City and all the top teams, you need good competition for places.

“We don't want players resting on their laurels thinking they're going to play every week no matter what their performance is because naturally it drops then. We want players thinking they have to play well to stay in the team and that only adds to the competition of it all,” he said.


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