Thursday 22 March 2018

Kuduzovic hat-trick leaves Galway on the brink

Dundalk 3 Galway utd 0

A Faz Kuduzovic hat-trick kept a depleted Galway side close to the brink at Oriel Park last night.

Galway's last league victory was against Drogheda in mid-August, but the same result never seemed remotely on the cards against their Louth neighbours.

Without a win against the Lilywhites this season, the signs were ominous for Sean Connor's men as within just eight minutes, Daniel Kearns whipped in from the left to find Matthew Tipton but his header sailed just wide of Darragh Geraghty's goal.

Kearns, fresh from international duty with the Ireland U-23s, was giving the Tribesmen plenty to think about early on and after 18 minutes he was again involved, squaring to Kuduzovic. The Bosnian teed up Dean Bennett on the run but the shot lacked precision, flashing just off course.

After 33 minutes both Kuduzovic and Kearns snapped shots at Geraghty, who did well with a fine double save. The siege proved too much for the strugg-ling Westerners however, and a minute after the break Kuduzovic stole in to tap home after some haphazard defending failed to deal with a Tom Miller throw-in.

The outcome never looked in doubt with Dundalk continuing to raid. Ross Gaynor was unlucky to see his effort sail wide on 57 minutes.

But the night belonged to Kuduzovic and he bagged his second in almost identical fashion to the first. Another Miller throw-in caused problems in Galway's back line and the striker swept it home, and three minutes from time he notched up his 10th of the season with a fine strike from a Steven Lennon assist.

Dundalk -- Cherrie, Madden, Breen, Burns (Kelly 35), Hatswell; Kearns, Miller, Bennett (Maher 66), Gaynor; Kuduzovic, Tipton (Lennon 82).

Galway Utd -- Geraghty, King, Meynell, Sinnott, Walsh; Keane, Curran, O'Donnell, O'Brien; Sheppard, Molloy (Preston Kelly 66).

REF -- N Doyle (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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