Dundalk march into semi-finals

Daryl Horgan (Dundalk).jpg

Dundalk march into semi-finals

Dundalk 4 Sligo Rovers 0 - Dundalk marched into the semi-finals of the FAI Cup after taking Sligo Rovers apart at Oriel Park.
11th Sep 2015

Daryl Horgan set them on their way with a delightful effort in the 55th minute before Ciaran Kilduff scored one of the goals of the season, lifting a delicious effort over Richard Brush.

The floodgates opened when Ronan Finn made it 3-0 with another beauty before substitute Sean Maguire wrapped it up with his first goal for the club in the 88th minute.

Sligo’s Regan Donelan squandered a decent chance to test Gary Rogers in the 8th minute, the left back firing over from 25-yards despite finding himself well placed.

From then on it was the champions who asked all the questions. Ciaran Kilduff rose to knock a ball down for Richie Towell to hit from 20-yards but the country’s top goalscorer could only smack his volley into the ground, allowing Richard Brush to easily gather.

Daryl Horgan and Darren Meenan buzzed with intent on both flanks for the hosts and Horgan, a former Sligo Rovers player, turned away from Alan Keane and looked for the far corner but Brush was again equal to the task.

A clever flick from Meenan then set Towell bursting through on the right. His cut back fell invitingly for Ronan Finn but Brush again showed safe hands. Tim Clancy then hung out a vital leg to break up a rapid Dundalk counter attack with the visitors outnumbered.

Sligo’s best opening came just before the break when Russell found himself between Shields and Gannon to meet Alan Keane’s cross but he could only divert the difficult header off target.

The second half began with man of the match Chris Shields setting up Dane Massey for a pop at the Sligo goal. Shields then came to his side’s rescue four minutes later, getting a vital block on Dinny Corcoran’s effort after the Bit O’Red striker had found himself in space to control Keane’s pass from the right.

The torrential rain began to fall again and Dundalk upped the tempo with Brush doing well to keep a hold of Towell’s low sidefooted drive before the overworked Peers got a vital touch on Meenan’s cross to take the ball off Kilduff’s head.

Horgan hammered the resulting loose ball well off target but the Dundalk winger went for precision seconds later, and it paid off. Collecting the ball centrally, he spotted a sizeable gap to Brush’s left and the Sligo ‘keeper could do nothing on this occasion to keep Horgan’s well placed effort out.

The Oriel Park faithful got the smell of blood and a second almost arrived three minutes later with Massey, Boyle and then Finn all denied after a Meenan free-kick caused havoc.

The ‘killer’ strike did arrive five minutes later. Yet again Meenan was the architect, his free kick finding Kilduff, who nipped in ahead of Alan Keane to flick an outrageous effort over Brush from 14-yards. A stunning goal.

The hosts threatened to run riot and goal number three arrived 13 minutes later. Finn turned away from Peers with a dazzling turn and his finish was even better, leaving Brush helpless for the third time in the space of two games.

Horgan should have made it 4-0 with seven minutes to play when he found himself in the clear from Kilduff’s through ball. The Galwegian rounded Brush but lost his footing and somehow put the ball wide.

The icing was put on the cake in the 88th minute when Finn’s glancing header sent substitute Sean Maguire through and he made no mistake, coolly finishing past the exposed Brush.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon (Paddy Barrett 81), Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Richie Towell (John Mountney 78), Chris Shields; Darren Meenan, Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan; Ciaran Kilduff (Sean Maguire 86).

SLIGO ROVERS: Richard Brush; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Tim Clancy (Morten Nielsen 61), Regan Donelan;  Gary Boylan, David Cawley; Jennison Myrie Williams, John Russell, Raffaele Cretaro (Rob Lehane 73); Dinny Corcoran (Anthony Elding 61).

REFEREE: Tomas Connolly.