Tuesday 19 November 2019

Five-star Dundalk sweep Shels aside

Dundalk 5 Shelbourne 0

Dundalk's Ronan Finn celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal with team-mate Jake Kelly
Dundalk's Ronan Finn celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal with team-mate Jake Kelly
Dundalk's Richie Towell scores his side's fourth goal from the penalty spot
Shelbourne's Colm Crowe in action against Ronan Finn of Dundalk

Dundalk continue to advance on all fronts with Stephen Kenny's side making light work of Shelbourne in last night's FAI Cup second round tie at Oriel Park.

Speaking prior to the match, Shels manager Kevin Doherty described the league champions as a 'machine' and Dundalk showed their ruthless streak by punishing the Division One side for squandering a golden opportunity to draw first blood.

The chance in question arrived in the 11th minute when Alan O'Sullivan pounced on Paddy Barrett's weak pass outside the Dundalk penalty area.

The Shels centre-forward found himself with just Gabriel Sava to beat but his effort drifted wide and any hopes of a shock went with it.

Fourteen minutes later, Doherty's side found themselves two goals adrift. Centre-back Ryan Robinson headed into his own net, leaving Greg Murray with no chance and the Shels goalkeeper was left helpless again when Jake Kelly's pinpoint header, from a Richie Towell cross, found the bottom corner. It was another set-piece that led to the killer third goal in the 49th minute, Kurtis Byrne finishing off Horgan's delivery.

Stephen Kenny used the occasion to utilise his squad and Ciaran O'Connor almost made an instant impression when he came off the bench to see a ferocious drive fly just off target.

The fourth goal arrived with 20 minutes to play. O'Connor showed plenty of power to run Adam O'Connor in the inside left channel, drawing a foul from the Shels full-back and Towell made no mistake from the penalty spot.

O'Connor was also instrumental in the fifth, guiding a Sean Gannon cross to the far post for Ronan Finn to head home, taking Dundalk's goal tally to 28 in their last eight games.

Dundalk - Sava; Gannon (McMillan 81), Boyle, Barrett, Grimes; Mountney, Towell (Shields 75); Kelly, Finn, Horgan (O'Connor 64); Byrne.

Shelbourne - Murray; Heaney, O'Connor (Gannon 78), Robinson, Osam; Sandford (Hughes 71), Walsh (Donnelly 63), Doyle, Crowe, McGlade; O'Sullivan.

Ref - Dave McKeon

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