Calm before the Storm – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS5 C2 S1 – Part 42 – Dundalk – May 2023

Something like what we will have to face up to from July onwards

Welcome back to Dundalk – May and June may prove to be the last months with normal schedules before we face up to somehow fitting European football in around all the domestic games.

A 6-game month currently – 2 nice cup games and 4 league games (Should win all of them, apart from maybe a game against a tough Derry side).

We play Cork City today. A few little bits before that.

We need that European money πŸ™‚ Easily could ship Β£400k on a quiet month. There’s a Clause Buyout available for Joe Holloway – We will owe Cork City Β£100k after another 38 league games – so by the same time next season. Pay now and that’s Β£69k. Will he make another 38 League appearances for the club?… I’ll leave it for now, i’m hoping to strengthen in the DM and Midfield next month and at the end of the season.

Dynamics are Very Good across the board and the Board are going with an A- currently as well, so all good.

1st May 2023 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division

We travel down to the South Coast this May-Day evening to face a Cork side languishing a bit in 7th – that said there’s only 4 points between them and St. Pat’s in 3rd so it’s not that bad, with the bottom 3 fighting it out for the safe 8th spot. The only team they beat last month (in normal time) though was Cobh Ramblers, and that 1-0, but they will be tough to break down.

Holloway swaps with Rea and is going to play as a ball winner, Duffy back where he played very well last season, Jamie McGrath gets a start on the right wing, but apart from that unchanged. Cork go with a Cautious 4-4-1-1.

FT Cork City 5 (Walsh 26) Dundalk 1 (Ngoy 20, McGravey 45, 49, 71, Jenkinson 89) Att 3,532 (131 Away)

A quiet start against the cautious Rebels. A good chance in the 19th minute for McGarvey as he’s laid in by McGrath, but his shot is turned round the post. However we make it 1-0 from the Corner, Ngoy with his 2nd of the season, a beautiful volley from 8 yards from a Duffy corner, defenders misjudging the flight. Again, Duffy getting into some fine positions, but he really has a mental-block around finishing at the moment. Then the first idiotic goal in a while – Moore with a long pass back to O’Malley, with a heavy touch but not too bad. He then proceeds to just jog after it, Walsh gets there first and runs the 40 yards to the goal with the ball, tapping in. Fuck off game. It took until just before half-time for us to retake the lead. It looked like a Cork Break, but Ngoy intercepted the pass, swept it out to McGarvey who slammed home into the roof of the nety from 12 yards. 2-1 Dundalk. And that’s how we go into the break.

Beautiful goal in the 49th minute to make it 3-1 – patiently plugging away before jenkinson slips McGarvey in for a tap-in. Really nice. 10th of the season. 60 mins, Connolly on for McGrath as an IW(A) on the right – will give it 10, then swap him and Duffy over. 4-1 in the 71st, mCgRavey hat-trick, another relatively easy goal after good work from Duffy & Connolly. Cork have a second in the 77th, but Walsh was a couple of yards off. 80 minutes, Duffy gets a bruised Thigh – Hoban on at AMR as a WTM. Benson for Holloway as a CM(S). 5-1 in the 89th, lovely quick break, McGarvey laying in Jenkinson for a tap-in. 5-1 it finished.

Big win for Cobh Ramblers versus Shelbourne (David Evans in the 95th minute) follows a mad last 10. Shamrock keep pace. 2 cup games in the next 2 games – Shelbourne in the Leinster Senior Cup Semi’s in 4 days, then Wexford in the League Cup Quarters 4 days after that.

Michael Duffy – Bruised Thigh – 5/6 Days – No worries, he wouldn’t be playing in the cup games anyway.

Hope he’s good – 5% of Β£100M would be nice πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

OGC Nice go out 1-0 on Aggregate to Slavia Prague in the Conference League Semis. 88th minute goal in the 2nd leg… Ouch.

5th May 2023 – Shelbourne (H) – Leinster Senior Cup Semi Final

We welcome a struggling Shelbourne (9th, lost to Cobh Ramblers in their last game) to Oriel Park this evening looking for a place in the Leinster Senior Cup Final!! Full rotation (almost) on.

Almost full rotation – only 3 fit centre backs at the moment so Moore plays. Moving to a modified 4-3-3 as well for this. Shelbourne start with a 4-2-3-1 Wide.

FT Dundalk 3 (McEleney 9, Dan Kelly 63, Benson 76) Shelbourne 1 (Oscar Brennan 90+4) Att 2,283 (78 Away)

Nice to see some of the lads getting a game, and it’s 1-0 Dundalk in the 9th minute. CWB(A) Aidan White with a lovely cross to McEleney, headed in across the Keeper from the far post. Very quiet after that until a highlight in the 25th minute. Only the 1-more highlight before half-time, and we go in 1-0 up.

Very very quiet. Dan Kelly on for Tormey on 60, IW(A). It only takes 2 minutes for kelly to get involved, scoring a back-post header from a McEleney cross, McEleney battling well to get the cross off. Long kick-off highlight… Dan Kelly hits the post at the end of it. Ngoy for Moore on 70. 3-0 on the 76th, Benson side-footing home after a Ngoy cross after a corner, Benson drifting in from the right. Jordan Kelly on for Hoban for the last 15. Time runs down, Shelbourne with an Oscar Brennan headed consolation in stoppage time. 3-1 it finishes.

We play Shamrock in the final on 23rd June πŸ™‚ There were also a couple of League games played this evening.

Derry & Waterford press on – Waterford with a really good win versus St. Pat’s. We have Wexford (First Division, 6th) down in the Sunny South-East in the League Cup QF in 4 days.

Our U19’s beat Drogheda U19’s 5-0 – 5 different scorers; 17yo DR Karl Harmon, 19yo AMC Brian Stapleton, 18yo MC Ger Ryan, 17yo AML David O’Callaghan & 19yo STC Harry Durham.

The day before our League Cup QF Longford progress, beating Galway Utd 3-1.

9th May 2023 – Wexford (A) – League Cup Quarter Final

We make the long trip down the East coast to face an in-form Wexford side (No losses in 6 after no wins in 9) in the League Cup Quarters. We remain rotated with Derry City up in the league in 3 days, before we revert to just the 1 game per week (Unsure when the league Cup Semis are if we get through though).

Jordan Kelly gets a start up top, Brian Connolly & Colm McShane on the wings. Ngoy in for Moore, otherwise unchanged. Wexford are going with a defensive 4-4-2.

FT Wexford 0 Dundalk 2 (Benson pen 42, McGarvey 90+4) Att 532 (243 Away)

White versus Black today in Wexford. And its a slow-ish start. Dundalk definitely on top, but nothing to show for it. That is until the 41st minute, where Ngoy is shoved by Furlong going up for a cross after a cleared corner. Robbie Benson steps up… 1-0 Sundalk, a powerful shot bottom left, a couple of foot off the ground. 1-0 at HT, solid.

Should have been 2-0 in the first 30 seconds of the second half, Kelly shooting wide after a lovely team passing move. Dan Kelly (IF-A) on for Connolly just before 65, McGarvey on for McShane as a winger. And Kelly has the ball in the net in the 74th, but he was a yard offside. Then Jordan Kelly has the ball in the net, but again he picked it up from an offside position – this time a couple of yards off. Last 10, Corrigan on for White at left-back. Time ticking down. And we seal the deal with a lovely team goal in the 4th minute of stoppages – A Corrigan cross headed home beautifully by McGarvey for his 12th of the season. 2-0 it finished – we go to the Semis. Must say I’m really liking Robbie Benson as the playmaker – loads of Key Passes.

Cobh Ramblers hold on to put Shelbourne out and Derry City beat their Ulster Senior League side, joining Longford in the Semis. Β£4k in the kitty for the win.

12th May 2023 – Derry City (A) – Irish Premier Division

Our toughest game in May, we cross the border to play a Derry side currently in 3rd and in good nick – no losses in their last 4 games and 3rd in the League. We will need to keep on at them to get a result I think, really pressurise them.

Full strength – McEleney is a must-pick at the moment. Playing both young defenders as BPD’s as well as they are both able. Derry go with a 4-4-1-1.

FT Derry City 1 (Harkin pen 44) Dundalk 3 (McEleney pen 12, 46, Duffy 40) Att 1,387 (257 Away)

Big game here today in Derry – a win away at 3rd place would always be a good result. Dundalk with a couple of chances in the first 10. And in the 12th minute a penalty, for what looked like a good challenge by McDermott on Corrigan. McEleney steps up… 1-0 Dundalk, beautiful penalty, nestled right in the bottom-left corner of the net, versus his former club. Derry have the next highlight, but we nearly do them on the break, lovely stuff from McEleney again. Quieter until the 40th minute, where we go 2-0 up – Lovely play from the team leading to McGarvey nodding the ball on from a lovely Holloway pass, flicking the ball off to Duffy, who actually scores!! Bottom left across the Keeper from close in! His 2nd of the season (He’s a 10-ish goal, 10-ish assist, 10-ish POM type of player, 1-3-1 so far this season). Derry get a lifeline, Moore giving away a pen for tripping Mulhern. Harkin steps up… 2-1, lovely penalty bottom right. 2-1 at the break – that was Derry’s only shot…

Wow, 3-1 inside a minute of the start of the 2nd half, lovely play from Corrigan, a whipped cross and that man McEleney is on hand to volley home for his 9th of the season. Lovely play. A quiet spell thereafter, Benson on for Holloway, DLP(S) with Jenkinson going to BBM. 75, both wingers off to standing ovations; Connolly on for Duffy, Dan Kelly for McEleney. Feels like we are really hitting our straps now. Time ticks down and it finishes 3-1, a really good result away at a tough team to beat.

Very much us and Shamrock as we pull 9-points clear of St. Pat’s in 3rd. No game for 7 days now πŸ™‚ Sligo next up at home.

Our U19’s drew 2-2 with Sligo U19’s, the first dropped points of the season. Goals from Alan Brady & Martin Kenny.

3 of the lads in the IPD team of the week – Ryan, Patrick & Aaron.

Now, been given the opportunity to postpone games because of these call-ups – declined, games will be bad enough from July-onwards with European games, let alone rearranged ones. I will need to get at least one more centre-back in I think. Nice to see Nathan in the Belgium U21’s!!!

19th May 2023 – Sligo Rovers (H) – Irish Premier Division

We welcome an attacking Sligo side currently sitting 6th in the table to Oriel Park this evening. They have lost their last 2 matches (Derry & Shamrock) but should still provide a good test of our abilities.

Unchanged – Go and do the same again lads. Sligo go 4-4-2 – slightly less attacking than our first meeting (3-1 Win)

FT Dundalk 4 (Duffy 12, McEleney 20, McGarvey 21, Jenkinson 72) Sligo Rovers 1 (Mahon 78) Att 3,202 (213 Away)

Good pressing early doors by McGarvey leads to an attack and corner, Duffy heading over. It’s all Dundalk, and we go 1-0 up in the 12th minute, Duffy looping a header in from a lovely dinked Jenkinson cross. 2-0 in the 20th minute, McEleney heading in a Duffy corner from 6 yards, poor marking. Kick-off highlight… 3-0 πŸ™‚ Sligo playing around with it a bit too much, Jenkinson pounces, sets McGarvey off who scores his 1-on-1 well. 3-0 at the break – Could have easily been 5.

Quiet half after the kick-off highlight. Benson for Holloway on 65, DLP(S), Jenks goes to BBM. And he scores to make it 4-0 in the 72nd minute – a lovely strike from 25 yards, powerful and low after a good team move and pass from Benson. 75, wingers off again, McEleney for Dan Kelly, Duffy for Connolly. 4-1 in the 78th, Mahon with a tap-in volley after a poor headed clearance. First of the Season… 4-1 it finished.

Us and Shamrock, matching each other pretty-much goal for goal. Only one more game this month for us, away ay 9th-placed Longford. 14 without losing in the League for us now!!

Our U19’s/Ressies beat Drumcondra 6-0, goals from Anthony Forde, 20yo ML Mark Hanratty, Jordan Kelly and a 4-minute hat-trick(!) from Patrick Hoban.



Barney McKeown

  • 21yo DC
  • 6ft
  • Capped at U19 level for Northern Ireland
  • Started in the Everton academy and has played the last 3 seasons in the Danske Bank Premier for Dungannon
  • IRL he’s been with Portadown since the summer.

Barney comes in on a free transfer to provide defensive cover. He has a bit of potential there, hoping training with the likes of Moore, Ngoy & O’Shea will help him kick-on a bit. Solid, 12 heading, 13 Marking, 11 Tackling, with good positioning. Should be able to do a job when called upon.

Four of the lads got into the IPD Team of the Week after the Sligo game – Keeper Conor, Right-Back Sean, Aaron again in midfield & Colin up top.

The (belated) League Cup Semi Final draw has happened…

The tougher draw – win and we could potentially play Cobh in the Final πŸ™‚ That’s not until Mid-August so we can put that to the back of our minds for now.

We’re in European Final season – Slavia Prague beat Sporting 1-0 to win the Conference League, Arsenal beat Celtic(!) 1-0 to win the Europa League, and the Champions League final is at the weekend, after our game versus Longford. And now the money starts rolling in πŸ™‚

Nearly half-a-mil for the Europa League TV Money

Over Β£800k for Coefficient-pot money!!!!! Β£1.3M right there!! Back over Β£5M in the bank! European Football – The gift that keeps on giving!

26th May 2023 – Longford (A) – Irish Premier Division

1st plays 9th this evening as we travel to the Midlands to face promoted Longford. Should be a simple game, we know that’s when FM gets all FM’y…

Unchanged, except for jenks playing as a RPM instead of DLP – Holloway and Rea are holding so I’d expect him to get further forward. Longford go for their Cautious 3-1-4-2 DM formation again – We won 4-0 last time against that…

FT Longford 0 Dundalk 3 (McEleney pen 22, 39, Gannon 63) Att 1,024 (281 Away)

Interesting start – 3 highlights inside the first 90 seconds… Longford looking good going forward. Walter Figueira on the right lunging into challenges a bit – and then he gifts us a penalty for a lunge on Corrigan. McEleney steps up… great attempt by Steacy but it’s passed his outstretched arms and into the bottom left. 1-0 Dundalk, 22nd minute. His 11th of the season (Coventry are interested in him now!!). All Dundalk now, Steacy keeping us at bay in the Longford net. But we get our second in the 39th minute, McEleney again, edge of the area after we methodically pick Longford apart with some lovely passing. 2-0 at the break.

Nearly a hat-trick for McEleney early doors – just tipped wide by Steacy. 55 gone, Holloway off for Benson, usual switch. Just after that Duffy pulled a thigh in a challenge – Dan Kelly on. Steacy is having a blinder keeping this to just 2-0. But it is 3 in the 63rd, Sean Gannon with his first of the season, a shot that seemed to phase through the Keeper after collecting a Corrigan cross. Last 20, White on for Corrigan at left-back. We have the ball in the net for the 4th time, Rea after a Benson deep free-kick, but he’s offside – very tight indeed, Bamford-esque almost. 3-0 it finished. A good month now complete!

Cobh get a good point versus Derry and Shamrock maintain pace with a 1-0 at Waterford.

That’s our games done for the month – not too bad all told πŸ™‚

6 wins from 6 πŸ™‚ Last time we lost was OGC Nice at the start of March, only 3 losses in 26 competitive games so far. There’s a 2-week break after our game versus Waterford, and a little cup final in there too, even though its just the Leinster Senior Cup we will try and win it. We have a few more days to get through before 1st June swings by, lets see what transpires.

Our U19’s beat Derry 2-0, 17yo CM Pierce Matthews & 18yo MR Dan Cross with the goals.

Confirmed that Nathan and Ray will be at the Euro U21’s tournament in June.

Ryan, Sean, Patrick & Aaron (again) all in the IPD Team of the Week.

Continental B Licence gotten – Now at a 35% Rep level 1 and 2/3rds of a star, or “Decent” πŸ™‚ Now, Continental A please! We will have that in 12 months.

And that’s that for May 2023. I leave you with the Key Highlights from the month’s games. See you soon.

May 2023 Key Highlights

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