Dundalk crush local rivals to book FAI Cup semi-final place
Dundalk 4 Drogheda United 0
Dundalk kept their hopes of making it to a third successive FAI Cup final alive after comfortably seeing off neighbours Drogheda United at Oriel Park tonight.
The Boynesiders were being priced as far out as 25/1 by some bookmakers to pull off an upset and the feeling before kick-off was that Pete Mahon’s side needed to draw first blood if they were to get anything from this quarter-final tie.
They almost did with Adam Wixted forcing Gary Rogers into a stunning save after just 90 seconds, the Dundalk ’keeper doing well to tip a dipping volley over his crossbar.
Before the visitors had a chance to build on that, they found themselves a goal behind. Dylan Connolly’s fifth-minute cross found Michael Duffy and the winger beat Stephen McGuinness at the second attempt after some woeful defending by the Drogs.
The hosts went for the jugular after that and Drogheda were left with a mountain to climb in the 28th minute when Connolly picked the ball up and let fly from 30 yards, his curling effort whistling inside McGuinness’ left-hand post.
Any notions that Dundalk might settle for what they had were dispelled when McMillan flashed a drive across goal just seconds after the restart and the third duly arrived in the 49th minute when Brian Gartland headed a Duffy free-kick past McGuinness.
Connolly should have made it four just minutes later but he steered his effort wide under pressure but the former Bray winger made amends in the 57th minute when he was upended in the box after a surging run and McMillan hammered home the spot-kick.
Luke Gallagher went close to pulling one back for the hapless visitors but his stunning effort came back off the woodwork with Rogers beaten.