Taking Control – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS5 C2 S1 – Part 41 – Dundalk – April 2023

Looking to take control of the league this month

Welcome back to another installment of my FM20 journey, now with a Dundalk side that has the potential to run roughshod over the Irish Premier Division. I’d like to get things almost sewed-up before the European games start in earnest in July, which will be just over half the way into the season.

Some tricky-ish games coming up , but 5 out of 6 game at home is really nice.

Before the Derry game the normal monthly bits and pieces.

Glen Rea top of the charts, followed by new-boy Aaron Jenkinson.

Patrick McEleney’s volley versus Longford tops the chart, Glen Rea’s long-range banger versus Sligo 3rd.

Manager of the Month πŸ™‚ The Chairman likes it πŸ™‚

OK. We spend about Β£600k/month. Income without European money is c Β£200k, so we are going to have to do well in Europe really. No Pressure…

A- πŸ™‚ And not one piece of the breakdown better than an B+…

Our U19’s beat St. Pat’s U19’s 3-0 – goals from 19yo AMC International Brian Stapleton, 18yo CM Ger Ryan and 17yo AMR International Martin Kenny.

3rd April 2023 – Derry City (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome an in-form Derry side (4 WIns on the trot following 2 losses) to Oriel Park this evening wanting to maintain our winning run (5 league games and counting).

A few changes this evening – Hoban for McGarvey up top, McEleney on the right wing, White at left-back on Sheehan in for the recovering-Gannon at right-back. Derry City start with a Cautious 4-4-1-1.

FT Dundalk 1 (McGarvey 56) Derry City 1 (Morrow 78) Att 3,252 (167 Away)

Pouring down yet again here in Dundalk as we move later into Spring. Quite tight for the first 10. Derry get a highlight, but we recover the ball and turn it around quick, until Duffy gets pulled back just inside the box by McDermott – Penalty Dundalk. Hoban steps up… Saved well by Lawlor low to his left. Very quiet after that point. 0-0 at HT.

McGarvey on for Hoban at the break, versus his former club. Derry looking good in the first 10 but in the 56th a moment of genius from Duffy sets McGarvey free off the back of the last man – an absolutely-fizzed half volley 50 yards from the edge of the Dundalk area – and he calmly scores the 1-on-1 to make it 1-0 Dundalk. 65 gone, Connolly on for Duffy (Getting tired) as a Winger on Support further back as we dial it back to Balanced. 75, Holloway off, Rea back to DM(D), Benson in as the BBM. Then the first mistake I’ve seen Ngoy make leads to a goal. Morrow dispossesses him on the half-way line and run on and score. 1-1 from nowhere… And then Patrick McEleney gets injured. FFS, Down to 10 for the last 10 minutes… Hanging on a bit… But it finishes 1-1. Pretty poor really.

A big result for Shamrock, losing very late versus Sligo. Derry now 2nd because of that.

Patrick McEleney – Twisted Ankle – 4/5 Weeks – A real shame for Patrick who has been playing really well and had just had his first call-up to the Northern Ireland squad. St. Pat’s next up on Friday in a big game.

4 lads in the IPD team of the Week – O’Shea, Ryan, Duffy & McGarvey.

OK – OGC Nice beat PSV 3-0 in the Conference League QF 1st leg… Making our result against them look very tidy indeed!

7th April 2023 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome a St. Pat’s side currently in 4th, joint on points with Derry & Shamrock to Dundalk knowing we need to push on after the disappointment of the draw versus Derry on Monday. In their last match they lost 2-1 to Shamrock Rovers but they beat us on opening day so again we’ve got to be wary.

McGarvey starts, with McShane starting on the right wing. Corrigan and Gannon back in the full-back spots, O’Shea for Ngoy. 1-0 will be fine. St. Pat’s go with a Positive 4-4-1-1.

FT Dundalk 2 (McGarvey 13, McShane 23) St. Pat’s Athletic 2 (Walker 63, 82) Att 3,273 (210 Away)

It’s a drizzly 12C here this evening, and a decent start from the Dundalk lads. A few early highlights, and the first goal in the 13th minute, McGarvey from just outside the box, bottom left, looks like through the Keeper. I’ll take it. St. Pat’s are going hammer-and-tong trying to close us down. Though to no avail. 23rd minute, 2-0, McShane after lovely work from McGarvey getting the ball deep from a throw in, a lovely pass over, McShane takes it inside and scores under Bossin in the St. Pat’s goal. Lovely play from the 2 lads. All quiet from then until the break. 2-0 Dundalk.

All quiet – Kelly for Duffy on 60, IF(A). 2-1 in the 63rd, odd goal, Walker scores after a clearance header comes back in over the top of O’Shea. Complacent. FFS come on lads!!! 68th minute, McGarvey hits the post on a quick counter… And just after he pulls his groin… Hoban on. 2-2 in the 82nd, what is going on!!! A wide-open header. Benson for Holloway. 2-2, capitulation.

Derry losing at Shelbourne the only bright spot – we’ve just got to be better than that. League Cup next versus Finn Harps.

Colin McGarvey – Pulled Groin – 5/6 Days. Not too bad.

Our U19’s beat Athlone U19’s 2-0, Goals from Brian Stapleton & Martin Kenny.

And Colin McGarvey gets into the IPD Team of the Week.

11th April 2023 – Finn Harps (H) – League Cup 1st Round

Finn Harps (4th in the First Division) arrive at Oriel Park after a mad 5-1 win against league leaders Bohemians, so it will be a tough game. Especially as we are rotating…

Almost full rotation, playing Duffy on the right wing to see where he plays best. Finn Harps go with a 4-2-3-1 Wide, though Cautious.

FT Dundalk 3 (Hoban 40, Conneely 44, Rea 87) Finn Harps 0 Att 1,007 (69 Away)

End to end in the first 90 seconds!! First Finn Harps, then Dundalk after quick distribution from O’Malley. 9th minute, straight Red for Murphy after what-looked-like a n Ok challenge on White. Tough on the Harps. Plenty of Dundalk highlights but we take until the 40th minute to take the lead – Hoban finishing off after a Duffy free kick is saved by Gartside in the Harps net. 1-0 Dundalk. 2-0 in the 44th, another Duffy free kick, this time acrobatically scissored in at the back post by Conneely.

Duffy off for Dan Kelly coming up to 60. Rea on for Benson on 70. Jordan Kelly for Hoban with 10 left. Another banger from Rea, 25 yards plus. 87th minute. 3-0 Dundalk. And Finn Harps will play stoppage time with 9 men as McLaughlin gets a second yellow. 3-0 it finished.

No major upsets – maybe Cobh Ramblers beating Waterford and Bray beating Bohemians. Β£2k in the kitty πŸ™‚

Interesting. Would be really cool to have some full Ireland internationals.

We’ve had the 2nd Round draw for the League Cup…

Big for the other 14 teams – one of St. Pat’s and Dundalk not getting to the QF’s after Shamrock was knocked out in the 1st Round! Good for the likes of Derry & Cork.

Chelsea looking good πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

OGC Nice through 5-2 on aggregate versus PSV! Sporting, Slavia Prague & fenerbahce left in the Conference League now.

14th April 2023 – Waterford (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome a Waterford side this evening currently in 5th after a good start but they have lost 4 of their last 5 outings, last up versus Cobh Ramblers in the League Cup.

Ngoy back in at centre-back, fullbacks to CWB(S), a few tweaks to the style of play but nothing massive. Waterford go with a defensive 4-4-1-1.

FT Dundalk 1 (McGarvey 9) Waterford 0 Att 3,117 (101 Away)

A dry evening this evening, hopefully conducive to some good football. And we are 1-0 up in the 9th minute, McGarvey with a tap in after good work from Duffy & Corrigan. Dundalk really on top. But no more rewards for the dominance – 1-0 at HT.

Dan Kelly on for McShane on 55- been a bit poor today. 75, Hoban for McGarvey, White for Corrigan. That odd bug where some of the opponents shirts go black has popped up – 3 Waterford players as far as I can see so far. Injury time… 1-0 it finished.

Derry put a dent in St. Pat’s hopes with a 94th minute winner. Shamrock keeping pace. Next up is 8th-placed Shelbourne in 7 days.

Dundalk U19’s go 5-for-5 in the U19’s League with a 1-0 win over Longford U19’s – Brian Stapleton with the goal.

Nathan Ngoy made the IPD Team of the Week.

Our U19’s coach Brian Donnelly has become Blyth Spartans (Tier 7 Northern Premier League in England) manager.

21st April 2023 – Shelbourne (A) – Irish Premier Division

We make the short trip to Tola Park in Dublin to face a Shelbourne side currently in 8th – A 1-0 win versus Derry City & 1-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers their last 2 matches.

Dan Kelly starts on the right, Rea & Holloway swap places in Midfield but otherwise we have a stable first 11. Shelbourne going with a 4-2-1-3 2DM Wide.

FT Shelbourne 0 Dundalk 2 (Ngoy 7, Dan Kelly 36) Att 1,026 (300 Away)

The rain is back. We beat them 4-0 last time we played them, and we go 1-0 up in the 7th minute – Ngoy with the back post header from a Joe Holloway free kick. Dundalk on top. Plenty of chances, but we take until the 36th minute before going 2-0 up – Dan Kelly with a nice shot across the Keeper McCabe. after good play wide-right by Colin McGarvey. 2-0 at the break.

Connolly on for Duffy at the break (3 games in 7 days including this one). Quiet – first highlight has Brian Connolly hitting the bar with a header. 70 minutes – White for Corrigan. Last 10, Hoban for McGarvey. Time ticks away. It finishes 2-0.

Shamrock maintain pace with us as we go 7 points ahead of 3rd, Derry on the end of a Shamrock 3-0, St. Pat’s losing points to Sligo in a game that ended 10 v 10. Just 3 days before we come back to Richmond Park in Dublin to play St. Pat’s in the League Cup 2nd Round. Now 10 games unbeaten in the League.

Rob Edwards (40yo – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Edwards_(footballer,_born_1982)#:~:text=Robert%20Owen%20Edwards%20(born%2025,debut%20in%20the%20Premier%20League.) comes in as an U19’s coach – very solid indeed. IRL he’s the England U16’s manager!!! He played 15 times for Wales and spent time ats a player at Aston Villa and Wolves, amongst others, and has managed AFC Telford.

Rob Edwards

And our U19’s are now 6 wins from 6 – a 5-0 win over Shelbourne U19’s, goals from 18yo MC David Kinsella, 17yo AML David O’Callaghan & a hat-trick from that man Brian Stapleton.

24th April 2023 – St. Pat’s Athletic (A) – League Cup 2nd Round

We travel to Richmond Park in Dublin this evening to play a St. Pat’s side in indifferent form (LDWLD last 5) but with the knowledge that we have a very important league game versus Shamrock just 4 days afterwards. My initial thought is to rotate, hard.

Full rotation apart from Joe Holloway at DM, though the big-hitters are on the bench. Don’t know if St. Pat’s will do similar. They start with a 4-4-1-1, in a positive fashion – looks like they have their full first team out..

FT St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Dundalk 0 AET (Dundalk Win 4-1 on Pens) Att 1,332 (7 Away)

A quiet game until 25 minutes. A few highlights from then, mostly for Dundalk but not exclusively. Brian Connolly with the best chance, his volley tipped over by Bossin. 0-0 at HT.

Shows how much the fans want this – 7 have come to the game tonight from Dundalk. Triple subbage just after 60 – Rea, Jenkinson & Duffy for Holloway, Shields & McShane. Nearly a goal straight away – Duffy hitting the side netting from close in. And he misses a 1-on-1 after doing all the hard work… Hoban has the ball in the net but is offside by a mile. We’re pushing!! But to no avail. Extra Time it is…

Nothing in the 1st half of ET. 117th minute, St. Pat’s down to 10, Bolland for a 2nd yellow. Too late though. Pens it is.

HOBAN 1-0, Galvin 1-1, BENSON 2-1, Toner SAVED BY O’MALLEY 2-1 Dundalk, DUFFY 3-1, Desmond SAVED BY O’MALLEY 3-1 Dundalk, BOYLE… 4-1 Dundalk, Dundalk Win πŸ™‚ O’Malley the star (6.8) with 2 lovely saves as our second string gets a good win.

A few shocks as Wexford beat Cork City & Derry’s 2nd team beat Sligo… Derry City 1sts and us the favourites now. Another just under Β£3k for the win.

Nathan Ngoy & Dan Kelly make the IPD team of the week after the 2-0 win versus Shelbourne.

And we have the League Cup Quarter Final Draw…

Away to Wexford, as Derry get their 2nd string… That will be played on May 9th.

28th April 2023 – Shamrock Rovers (H) – Irish Premier Division

The big one, 1st v 2nd, both teams in pretty decent form, we know a win could go a long way to regaining the title for the 6th season in a row.

Full first team out, but Duffy is a worry. He is so good, but can’t finish and he’s got a 6.81 average amongst a ton of 7-plus-ers. Very strange. 7.54 over 30 games last season, will need to go back and see how Dundalk were using him then – Looks like ML in a 4-4-2…

So lets try this then. Shamrock go with a Cautious 4-4-2.

FT Dundalk 1 (McGarvey 7) Shamrock Rovers 1 (McEneff pen 9) Att 4,204 (592 Away)

We go up against our old friend Brian Sammon again today. He not been particularly prolific (6 in 18) but 16 Fin/16 Acc/14 Pac is still dangerous. 6 minutes in an Dan Kelly has a poorly calf… But as he walks off for treatment we go 1-0 up! McGarvey with a low volley from a Duffy corner πŸ™‚ 2 minutes later it’s a Penalty to Shamrock – Ngoy adjudged to have pushed Andrew Moore… McEneff tucks it away inside the right upright. Kick-Off highlight… and a lovely Dundalk move ends in an easy save. A good open game, Jenkinson clipping the bar from range following a Shamrock attack. Again, Duffy getting into a superb position just to scuff the shot… Dundalk on top but the half ends 1-1.

Forde on for Kelly at HT – don’t want to chance an injury and he’s on a booking. A really nice start from Dundalk, Corrigan hitting the side netting in the first minute. Quiet afterwards, no highlights until just before 60. 70, Benson for Rea. We push for the win, and it will be versus 10 men for the last 15 minutes, Power off for a second yellow. Been FM’d lads – 1-1 (Look at the stats)…

I suggest that if we don’t lose to Shamrock in the next 2 games we face them in we should win the League – we battered them today and somehow didn’t win.

That’s it for the games this month (Cork City on 1st May, 3 Days) – unbeaten now since Nice on 2nd March and St. Pat’s on Opening Day (10th Feb) in the League – 11 games.

Another good month, just a bit annoyed we didn’t put Derry, St. Pat’s or Shamrock away.

May sees some nice cup games between 4 League games, with Derry the hardest of the 4.

Our U19’s beat Monaghan Cavan 8-1, goals from 19yo DC Paul Glynn, 16yo STC Alan Brady, David O’Callaghan, Martin Kenny and 4 from Tommy Carlin.

And with that we end April 2023, I’ll leave you with the Key Highlights from the month. See you soon.

Key Highlights April 2023

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