Welcome back to Dundalk for another busy one – 7 league games and a cup defence this month.
First up before we go to Cobh on the 2nd the usual monthly stuff.
Jordan IPD player of the month for March. His free kick versus Waterford was also goal of the month. Michael Duffy’s free kick was 3rd.
Manager of the Month again.
A- with the board. Dynamics Good/Excellent/Excellent.
2nd April 2024 – Cobh Ramblers (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Dundalk 4 (Watts 6. McGarvey 29, 37, Kelly 90+1) Att 410 (141 Away)
We travel to the only team to take points off of us so far this season, Cobh Ramblers, knowing we need to keep winning to keep the pressure on Shamrock 7 Derry. And we start well, Rusell Watts heading home an O’Malley cross in the 6th minute. Watts (18yo, Bought in from Bournemouth) looking to be a superb signing. 2-0 just before the half hour – McGarvey finishing after good work by Jordan Kelly. 3-0 in the 37th – McGarvey again, this time with a near-post header from a lovely O’Malley cross (17 crossing). The second half was dull, but we got a 4th in stoppages – McEleney intercepting a cross-field ball, laying Jordan in for his 10th of the season. 4-0 – that’ll do pig!
Derry slip up against a Longford side who get another 3 points, so we are now 6 points clear – Shamrock have a game in hand. Finn Harps next in a few days.
5th April 2024 – Finn Harps (H) – Irish Premier Division
FT Dundalk 5 (Collins pen 5, 66, 67, O’Malley 12, 30) Finn Harps 0 Att 3,432 (225 Away)
We entertain bottom-placed Finn Harps this evening – Not feeling an upset but you never know… Maybe not – Collins (Gave him the penalty as he can’t buy a goal at the mo) with a pen in the 5th minute after O’Malley was fouled – O’Malley 2nd best player in the squad by CA now after Jenks! And O’Malley makes it 2 in the 12th minute – a gorgeous run in and shot after a probing run and pass by BPD Ray Moore! 3-0 in the 30th – O’Malley again (He’s on fire) after nice work by Jenks and loanee right-back Freddy Barton – 6 goals and 7 assists now for O’Malley, in his 8th league game of the season!! Best £375k ever spent. A slower second half again, but Tommy Collins got his 2nd of the game (And Season) with a nice header from a Holloway deep free kick to make it 4 in the 67th minute. And from the kick-off highlight Collins makes it 5-0 with his hat-trick (Time from restart 10 seconds) after catching Harps defender Hand dwelling on the ball. 5-0 it finished.
Shamrock with a good 3-0 win keeps them 6 points back. St. Pat’s leapfrog Derry, beating them 1-0 at theirs. The luxury of a full week before our next match – Away at Longford, before we play both 2nd and 4th in 4 days.
Our U19’s beat Derry 6-2 – goals from Josh Donnelly (17yo MC), Pierce Andrews (18yo MC), Alan Brady, Jim Collins and a brace from Russell Watts, who I’ll bring back for the Shamrock game.
All 11 of our players made the IPD team of the week – 2nd time I’ve seen this (Longford 10-2 last season).
We’ve had the League cup 2nd Round draw (Noticeable scalps in the 1st round were Limerick beating Cobh Ramblers 2-1 and Wexford knocking Waterford out on pens)
Our next opponents in the league Longford, at home. Shamrock/St. Pat’s seems to be a common occurrence in cups.
Good wins for Liverpool (2-1 over RB Leipzig away) and Chelsea (1-0 Barcelona away) in the UCL QF 1st legs. Inter also beating Bayern away 2-1 and PSG winning 2-0 in an all-french tie versus Lyon.
12th April 2024 – Longford (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Longford 1 (Cleary 66) Dundalk 6 (McGarvey 2, 4, pen 24, Kelly 15, Ngoy 27, O’Malley 45+2) Att 1,017 (296 Away)
We make a tricky trip to Longford this Friday evening hoping for more of the same (17 goals in the last 4 games, only 11 shots against). Another great start, 1-0 in the 2nd minute, McGarvey heading in another O’Malley cross/assist. Same combo just 2 minutes later – this time from a corner :). Jordan Kelly in on the act in the 15th – a nice left-foot volley and finish from a Duffy nod-down – ever the poacher, I’m pretty sure he took it off of Colin McGarvey’s toe 🙂 McGarvey did get his hat-trick though – a pen in just the 24th minute after Ngoy was pushed by Folan following an O’Malley deep free-kick. 5 in the 27th – Nathan Ngoy getting in on the act with a nice shot from 18 yards from an O’Malley cut-back. Going for that record today it looks like! O’Malley made it 6 just before half time – a beautiful 25-yard direct free-kick. Already 3 assists and a goal today, taking him to 7 goals/10 assists in 8 and a half league games this season… A rare goal against, Cleary tapping in from a deep free kick made it 6-1. That’s how it finished. Last 4 matches versus Longford, 21-3 aggregate score 🙂
Shamrock, next up in 4 days, get a good 3-1 win over Derry and stay 6 points back. St. Pat’s continue their good form with a win versus Waterford. Both Cobh & Finn Harps get points, keeping it a tight bottom 4. Looking at the colours in the league table – does that mean Shamrock will be in the Europa and we get 4 Conference league places now? (Had a weird new article about us having no teams in the Conference League – think its a bug when allocations change)
Our U19’s beat Monaghan Cavan 9-1, a brace from Jim Collins, hat-trick from Josh Donnelly and 4 from Martin Kenny.
Big Injury – Jake Taylor, Double Hernia lifting weights – 4-6 weeks. First real issue of the season. Ray Moore also out of the Shamrock game due to a 4-yellow 1-match ban.
Only 9 players made the IPD team of the week this week 🙂
16th April 2024 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Shamrock Rovers 1 (McEneff pen 7) Dundalk 2 (McGarvey 10, O’Malley 90+1) Att 4,094 (616 Away)
Both teams in good form – Shamrock have won their last 6 competitive matches and have only lost to us (twice) and Longford this season. Interestingly they have to play St. Pat’s 3 times in 10 days after this match, 2 league and 1 cup… Shamrock take the lead in the 7th minute – a really soft pen, Ngoy pushing Power apparently… Only 1-0 for 3 minutes though, 1-1; A good McGarvey header from a Gannon floaty cross. Bish, Bash, Bosh. Great reply. Pretty tight as we get to the break. Shamrock have been really good, not done much going forward but definitely stifled us. But will it be heartbreak for the lads in green & white? 2-1, 17 seconds into Injury Time, O’Malley poking the ball home after a great move – getting on the end of Tommy Collins’ knock down from his own cross 🙂 We also hit the bar after that – just ground them down really. A 2-1 win – great result!! 11 wins in a row now, a IPD Record. The stats make it look very one sided – it wasn’t!
9 points back to St. Pat’s now in 2nd (Shamrock with their game in hand). Tight at the bottom as well – Would think any one of those bottom 4 could be relegated in 10th at the end of the season. Derry City next in 3 days.
Chelsea & Inter through to the UCL Semis.
Liverpool make it 2 English teams in the semis – And a madness at Lyon as they take PSG to extra time and end up winning 5-2 on aggregate. No crazy sendings-off or anything.
19th April 2024 – Derry City (H) – Irish Premier Division
FT Dundalk 4 (Duffy 2, 20, pen 22 Collins 8) Derry City 1 (Hamilton 80) Att 3,471 (168 Away)
We welcome a Derry side to Dundalk currently in 4th – 2 wins and 3 losses in the last 5 but a good 1-0 win versus Cork City last time out. But we make a superb start – Duffy scuffling the ball over the line in the 2nd minute after a Jenks header (From a Holloway wide free kick) hit the bar. 2-0 in the 8th minute – Tommy Collins with a nice header from a Duffy cross from the right (after a cleared corner). Battering them with the crosses and set pieces. Had the ball in the net again – Ngoy on the end of a Holloway deep free-kick, but he was offside. A superb goal for 3-0 – O’Malley clearance from hands, Collins nod down to Kelly, first time ball into space and Duffy runs in and scores from close range. 20 minutes, 3-0. Less than 2 minutes later its a Dundalk penalty Young Right Winger Kenny impeded by Shipley – Duffy to take, and it’s a 20 minute hat-trick!! 4-0! Was not expecting this! The rest of the game was a bit boring, with Derry getting a goal back late on from a Hamilton header. 4-1 it finished.
Shamrock do to St. Pat’s what we did to them last game – an injury time winner. Cobh & Longford picking up points, nice to see Lyamine Mihoubi scoring – he’s 21 now 🙂
Right – 3 days to a League Cup 2nd Round versus Longford.
15 wins in a row! 2 more games to 50 unbeaten.
Our U19’s beat Shelbourne 4-2 – goals from Alan Brady & a hat-trick from Pierce Andrews.
22nd April 2024 – Longford (H) – League Cup 2nd Round
FT Dundalk 5 (McGarvey 11, 38, Williams 13, O’Malley 15, Dan Kelly 60) Longford 0 Att 945 (1 Away)
Lots of rotation tonight for this League Cup tie – St. Pat’s in the league is in 4 days and a win there will put us 15 points clear of 3rd after 14 games. We beat them 6-1 at theirs 10 days ago, but with the 1st team. Longford nearly open the scoring early – one of those odd posts where the net bulges and it no way rebound far enough. Dundalk does open the scoring though – McGarvey with a volley finish from close in from a lovely Barry Reilly cross after a good break. 2 minutes later it’s 2 – Neco Williams with his first for the club (He’s currently rated as our 3rd best right back…) – a gorgeous toe punt from the edge of the area. Steven O’Malley makes it 3 just 2 minutes later again – 3 goals in 4 minutes – finishing from 10 yards after a cross from Benson. McGarvey makes it 4 7 minutes from half-time a nice flicked header from an O’Malley deep free kick. Longford must hate playing us. Sub Dan Kelly made it 5 on 60 minutes – a close in finish after a lovely Rea cross/pass. 5-0 it finished – Standard 🙂
Any shocks? Possibly Drogheda beating Sligo AET. Cork also getting taken to extra time versus Wexford. Just under £3k in the pot. St. Pat’s up in the league in 4 days. And we had 7 players in the IPD Team of the Week.
The League Cup Quarters have been drawn:
Drogheda at home – we beat them 2-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup Quarters. Keeping the big boys apart.
26th April 2024 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division
FT Dundalk 3 (Jordan Kelly 38, Collins 51, 85) St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Att 3,493 (211 Away)
St. Pat’s came into this game in 3rd, and were unbeaten since we last played (8th March – 7 games) until the lost twice to Shamrock Rovers in 3 days – once in the League, once in the League Cup. A tight start against a very-defensively set up St. Pat’s. We break the deadlock in the 38th minute – a good team move from the back, Jordan Kelly finishing close in from a Steven O’Malley pass. He picked up a bruised shin in the build-up to the goal so came off at the break. 2-0 in the 51st minute – 6ft 8in Tommy Collins with a towering back-post header from a Holloway free-kick. St. Pat’s went down to 10 men for th elast 10 minutes – Osadebe with a second yellow. Collins made it 2 for him and 3 for Dundalk in the 85th minute – a strong finish after lovely passing play and a simple slipped ball from Corrigan. 3-0 at the finish – we are barely letting any team have a shot currently.
Shamrock maintaining contact – only difference between us are our two wins over them. One game left this month – Cork in 3 days.
22 games left 🙂 Should be looking at 30 assists at this run-rate.
Our U19’s beat St. Pat’s 4-1 – Goals from Jordan O’Keefe (18yo DC), Jim Collins, Martin Kenny & Russell Watts.
29th April 2024 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Cork City 0 Dundalk 3 (Duffy pen 3, McGarvey 34, Jordan Kelly 41) Att 3,581 (139 Away)
Back to back league games versus Cork City coming up. They sit 6 and have had pretty Topsy-Turvy form recently, their only win in the last 5 versus Wexford AET. Penalty Dundalk inside the first 3 minutes – Duffy slotting it home after Jordan Kelly was fouled. Ryan in the Cork goal is keeping them in it as we come into the last 15 minutes of the 1st half. But McGarvey makes it 2-0 – a banger of a header from close in from a lovely inswinging Duffy corner. Jordan kelly makes it 3 in the 41st – another header, this time from a Corrigan cross. Job done in the 1st half – 3-0 it finished.
Shamrock slip up versus St. Pat’s – 12 points back now. Cobh pulled back in injury time versus Longford. And 4 of the lads got in the IPD Team of the Week.
That’s that for games for the month. Any last bits?
Chelsea with a good away win in the UCL Semi Final 1st Leg.
So that’s April 2024 done – not too bad a month 🙂
Eighteen wins on the trot now! Looks like a potentially easy month, plus I’ve just notice there are no matches in June 2024 because of the Euros, hence why we are playing so many games now. See you soon.