Welcome back to Dundalk for August 2024 – 5 League games currently, the 2 legs of the 3rd Round UCL Quallies versus Dynamo Kyiv, a League Cup Semi versus Limerick and the 1st round of the FAI Cup. Subject to change if (when) we beat Kyiv.
The normal start of the month news before we play Cork.
Manager of the Month as expected.
I asked for another coach as we have so many players (Something I’m looking to remedy) and that was agreed. We welcome Jon Goodman.
Ex Millwall and Wimbledon, he played 9 times for Ireland, and is mad good as a coach.
Look at the state of that!!
Back to an A+ with the board. Dynamics Good/Excellent/Excellent.
Longford get a vital 3 points to bring them closer to getting out of 9th position. Finn Harps looking destined to go straight back down.
3rd August 2024 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Cork City 0 Dundalk 3 (Collins 33, 72, McGarvey 46) Att 4,689 (169 Away)
Expecting a tough one today – rotated the side due to the Dynamo Kyiv game coming up in mid-week. Cork are unbeaten in 10 (Since they lost 4 in a row, including 2 against us). A quiet start, Cork looking useful. We start coming into the game a bit and take the lead in the 33rd minute. A Tommy Collins volley from a McGrath diagonal cross. It only takes 23 seconds of the second half to go 2-0 up – McGarvey with a nice header from a floated dink of a cross from Collins, after a great ball from Benson. Set Piece heaven for our 3rd, Tommy Collins with a header at the back post from a Russell Watts free kick, rattling off of the underside of the crossbar. 3-0 it finished – The 3rd time in a row we’ve won by that scoreline.
23 points clear, 11 games left.
That’s 24 wins in a row, a new record, and we are now 60 games unbeaten in the League, dating back to 13th February 2023, my first game in charge.
Sligo get a superb 3 points at home to Shamrock, who play Mura of Slovenia in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Europa Conference league after putting Slaven Balupo (CRO) out in the 2nd round 2-0 on aggregate. Derry went out 3-0 on aggregate to Vitesse. Shamrock have a good chance of getting to the League stage again IMO. We are now qualified for Europe again (At least the Conference League) after the Shamrock result 🙂
Our U19’s beat Shelbourne 3-0 – goals from Jim Collins & Martin Kenny(2).
We’ve had a scouting report for Dynamo Kyiv – Not vastly better than us TBH.
The UCL Playoff draw has happened.
Get past Dynamo Kyiv and its either Young Boys (SWI) or HJK (FIN) – A 32yo Mario Gotze up front for Young Boys. HJK are useful, but I’d expect Young Boys to progress. Neither have anywhere near the wage bill that Kyiv has.
Neco Williams has sprained Knee Ligaments – out for 6/7 weeks… FFS
Four of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.
7th August 2024 – Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) (H – Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Champions 3rd Qual Rnd 1st Leg
FT Dundalk 4 (Kelly 24, Duffy 35, Collins 89, Jenkinson 90+2) Dynamo Kyiv 0 Att 8,000 (115 Away)
Dynamo slight favourites with the bookies. Thinking we need to make home (Even though we aren’t at home) advantage pay. Good Dundalk pressure early. Kyiv defending really well. And it takes an absolute thunderbastard to break the deadlock. 24th minute, a sharp transference of the ball from back to front by Dundalk, Jordan Kelly gets the ball from a McGarvey pass and unleashes a crazy 30-yarder (7 long shots) on the turn. Madness. We should have made it 2 a couple of times – Steve Seddon is having a worldie at the moment, Andy-Robertsonesque chasing down. We do make it 2 in the 35th minute, a rarity of a successful Michael Duffy finish, far corner across the keeper (That said that’s his 10th of the season… Think it’s because of all the amazing positions he gets in). Beautiful lads!! Colin McGarvey misses a sitter to make it 3. Average Rating drops by 0.4 straight away. A quiet second half all told. Collins misses a sitter 3 minutes from time – a 3-on-1 break and he was selfish. But he makes amends seconds later, scoring from a very unselfish Kelly pass. 3-0 Dundalk versus Dynamo Kyiv!!! Their defending is shot to bits, and do we put the tie out of sight? 4-0 Dundalk, 2nd minute of injury time, Jenks with a 15-yard screamer after Duffy was left completely unmarked, his cutback finished with aplomb. It’s all over. Fuck me boys, we’ve just beaten Dynamo Kyiv 4-0!!!!
Young Boys sneak a 1-0 versus HJK, definitely not over with a trip to Finland. A league Cup Semi Final next, away at Limerick before we travel to the Ukraine for the return versus Dynamo.
St. Pat’s now level on points with Shamrock. Longford don’t take the chance to close to within a point of Cobh & Sligo with their draw versus Finn Harps. Shamrock beat NK Mura (SLO) 3-1 in their Conference League 3rd Qualifying round 1st leg – old friend Brian Sammon with a brace. Will be amazing if they can qualify for the League stage for the 2nd year in a row.
Our U19’s beat Castlebar 10-1, goals from Ger Ryan, Martin Kenny (2), Colm McShane (3) and Stapleton (4).
11th August 2024 – Limerick FC (A) – League Cup Semi Final
FT Limerick FC 0 Dundalk 3 (Benson pen 34, Connolly 74, Rubarth 83) Att 2,959 (324 Away)
We travel to our affiliate, and top of the First Division Limerick FC for this League Cup Semi, with a rotated team as per normal when we have European games in and around. They’ve had a bit of a dodgy run of form recently, losing 3 of their last 5. Limerick have a narrow pitch, which could be interesting. As expected we have the majority of the game early on. And we get a penalty in the 34th minute – Jovanovic pushing McGrath. Robbie Benson steps up and scores well, bottom left. 1-0 Dundalk. And it takes until the 74th minute for us to get our second, Connolly with a fine strike after a pass from Corrigan. 10 minutes from time Limerick go down to 10 – Shodipo sent off for a 2nd yellow. And soon after Rubarth makes it 3 after a fine move and nod-down by McEleney. It finishes 3-0, another Final beckons. £7k for the win.
St. Pat’s leapfrog Shamrock after Shamrock draw with Cobh and they beat Longford.
And we will be playing Derry City in the final of the League Cup as they sneak past Bohemians with an 88th minute goal. The final will be on 21st September (Currently).
14th August 2024 – Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) (A) – UCL Champions 3rd Qual Rnd 2nd Leg
FT Dynamo Kyiv 2 (Lednev 67, Shepelev 73) Dundalk 1 (Duffy pen 5) Att 14,582 (25 Away) – Dundalk wins 5-2 on aggregate.
We make the 1,600 mile journey east to the Ukraine to face a Kyiv side who we humbled in the 1st leg, but have scored 12 goals in their first 2 league games of the season… Expecting a tough evening, though its nice having a 4-goal headstart. A tough start for Kyiv though – Penalty Dundalk in the 5th minute, McGarvey clattered by Traca whilst going up for a Freddy Barton cross. Duffy steps up… 1-0 Dundalk, bottom left, Keeper didn’t move. Kyiv need 6 🙂 Kickoff highlight… so nearly 2-0, Taylor’s shot somehow kept out by Medvedchyk in the Kyiv net. Quiet until half-time. Kyiv looking knackered – AI rotation not really up to it. 1-1 in the 67th minute – Lednev with a header from a deep free kick. And Dynamo go 2-1 up in the 73rd minute, identical goal, this time Shepelev scoring. Disappointing. We lose 2-1, so glad we did what we did in the 1st leg! Our first loss in 38 games.
We will be playing Young Boys (SWI) in the Playoff as they sneak past HJK 2-1 on aggregate. Rangers go out to Galatasaray. Jenks will be out of the first leg through suspension for Yellows. Bray Wanderers next up in the FAI Cup 1st Round.
17th August 2024 – Bray Wanderers (A) – FAI Cup 1st Round
FT Bray Wanderers 0 Dundalk 2 (Rubarth 19, 40) Att 956 (249 Away)
We travel to a Bray side currently 2nd bottom in the First Division. That said only 4 points separate 5th & 10th. As Jenks isn’t available for the Young Boys game he plays, otherwise there’s a fair amount of rotation. A quiet start after a few early highlights, but we take the lead in the 19th minute, Alex Rubarth with a wonderful finish from a Corrigan low cross. And he gets his 2nd in the 40th minute, a low volley from a Jenks free kick after breaking the offside trap. Bray go down to 10 men with a few minutes left – Kerrigan with a second yellow. It Finishes 2-0, a professional performance.
No shocks, though it took 118 minutes for Waterford to break the deadlock against non-league UCC. £16k for the win. The biggie next – Young Boys at Tallaght Stadium in the UCL Playoff.
Our U19’s beat Drogheda 5-0, goals from an O.G., Alan Brady and Martin Kenny(3). Unfortunately Kenny also broke his ankle – 4/6 Months… Sent to the specialist.
Shamrock out in the 1st round as Cork brush them aside. Wexford lose to non-league Mervue.
We’ve had a scout report on Young Boys – similar levels to us. Will be a good tie.
We’ve also had the 2nd round draw for the FAI Cup.
Away to non-league Mervue Utd. Big derby as Cobh Ramblers host Cork City.
20th August 2024 – Young Boys (SUI) (H – Tallaght Stadium) – UCL Champions Playoff 1st Leg
FT Dundalk 5 (Holloway 11, McGarvey 19, 29, 61, 85) Young Boys 1 (Tavernier 13) Att 8,000 (1,178 Away)
Young Boys arrive in good form, having won 4 out of 4 in the Swiss Super League. They only scraped past HJK in the last round though. The Bookies have them slight favourites (As they did Dynamo Kyiv…). We are without Jenks this evening, which will be a big loss. Taylor will play as the DLP, Holloway in as the engine. They have Mario Gotze on the left of a 4-3-3 Narrow. Shall be interesting. Lots of room out wide. And its a poor piece of Young Boys defending that gives us the lead. Aebischer clears straight to Joe Holloway, who hits a speculative 25-yarder which goes in low to the Keeper’s left!! 1-0 Dundalk 🙂 Joe’s 2nd of the season, he wouldn’t have started if Jenks was available! 1-1 almost straight away, Tavernier with a direct free kick… 1st goal of the season. Kick-Off highlight.. Nothing doing. O’Malley picks up a pull, but before i can make the change McGarvey scores from his corner 🙂 A lovely header. 2-1 Dundalk. He may be Okay for a while, i’ll see. Nope, he comes off, Connolly on, Duffy swaps sides. Goals are there to be had. Another Young Boys mistake!! 3-1 Dundalk, 29th minute, big-game McGarvey dispossesses Wallace in the Dundalk half, runs it all the way in, waltzing past Kronig before slotting the ball home. 3-1 Dundalk, not even 30 minutes gone. Kelly & McGarvey are skinning the Young Boys back line. 3-1 at the break. We have the ball in the net for the 4th but Brian Connolly was adjudged to be offside. Absolute horse-shit, he was behind the ball when Jordan Kelly shot, he retrieved it and passed back to McGarvey who tapped in. McGarvey goes make it 4, 61st minute, a tap-in after a simple move, Seddon with a quick free kick, Connolly set free, his near post cross perfect for McGarvey’s left foot. A perfect hat-trick 🙂 4-1 Dundalk. And it’s 5 for the 4th consecutive round at home. McGarvey’s 4th, a bit lucky as its a deflection off of Kronig that takes it past Van Ballmoos in the Young Boys net. Have we got time for 6? Neraly, twice, but we’ll take a 5-1 🙂 Legends! And that was without Jenks as well!!
Ours is the standout result of the night, though Galatasaray beating Sporting was a really strong result.
Steven O’Malley out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring pull. Not as bad as it could have been. A rare league game next – Cobh Ramblers at St. Colman’s Park.
Kobenhavn beat Astana 3-2 in Kazakhstan in the other UCL Playoff tie of the week.
23rd August 2024 – Cobh Ramblers (A) – Irish Premier Division
FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Dundalk 3 (Watts 42, McGrath 66, Collins 84) Att 411 (139 Away)
Cobh have been having a good season, currently 7th, 4 points clear of Longford in 9th, with a draw versus Shamrock last time out (Just checked, Shamrock drew Aberdeen in the 4th Qualification Round of the Conference League, losing 1-0 in Scotland in the first leg, after beating Mura (SVN) 5-2 in the 3rd round). A quiet first 15 minutes. Cobh down to 10 in the 37th minute, Deasy with a second yellow. And 5 minutes later we go 1-0 up, Russell Watts with a lovely direct free kick, Keeper unsighted. Cobh down to 9 in the 55th minute, English shown a straight red for a 2-footed challenge on Ray Moore. We make it 2 in the 66th minute – McGrath with a fine finish after being laid-in by Jordan Kelly. Collins scores the third with a nice right foot volley from a 1-2 McGrath pass. Cobh defending like demons. 3-0 it finished.
20 points clear of St Pat’s (Who can get 24), 25 points clear of Shamrock (Who can get 30) – Could wrap the title up in 2/3 games time.
Our U19’s beat Cockhill 6-0, goals from Stapleton, Rea (2) & Mcshane (3).
Finn Harps looking dead and buried.
Five of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.
Kobenhavn put Astana out 6-2 on aggregate to become the first side from the Playoffs into the Champions League Group stage.
28th August 2024 – Young Boys (SUI) (A) – UCL Champions Playoff 2nd Leg
We make the 800 mile journey south-east to Bern in Switzerland to play Young Boys. They need a 4-0, we score once and they need 6 to win. If they play 4-3-3 again I can’t see us not scoring.
FT Young Boys 1 (Simon 74) Dundalk 4 (Duffy 13, McGarvey 14, 29, Kelly 45+2) Att 25,271 (109 Away) – Dundalk win 9-2 on Aggregate.
Young Boys come into the game on the back of a 2-0 loss to St. Gallen at home in the Swiss Super League. They’ve changed to an attacking 4-4-1-1 from a 4-3-3 last time out. And we cancel out their away goal in the 13th minute, and it’s an odd one. Gotze plays a really poor short free kick that Jenks pounces on, passes forward to McGarvey, who lays back to Seddon, who passes to Duffy, who finishes nicely bottom corner. It’s 2-0 within seconds of the restart, McGarvey heading home a Duffy corner. 24 goals now this season for Colin! Now 7-1 on aggregate 🙂 And we make it 8-1 and 3-0 on the night in the 29th minute. A Young Boys free kick hits the wall, Jordan Kelly is first to it, he strides forward, laying in McGarvey who gets his 6th of the tie with a clinical finish. Madness. It was 5 on 1 at one point of the break 🙂 And to compound Young Boys misery it’s 4-0 just before the break. A Jenks free kick is thundered against the bar from a Duffy header, Jordan Kelly is Johnny-on-the-Spot to volley home. An absolute demolition job. A quieter second half. McGarvey hits the bar with another header from a corner in the 63rd minute. They get a soft goal back in the 74th minute, Moses with the finish after a poor clearance from a free kick. Duffy gets himself sent off for a second yellow with 5 minutes left – really!! It finishes 4-1 on the night and 9-2 on aggregate – We’re in the Group Stages again!!!!! 🙂
3 of the other 4 ties go to extra time. I’m hoping the bib boys won’t relish the trip to Dublin 🙂
This is what we’re here for – that lovely money 🙂 Keep qualifying and we should make about £8M per season, without any other income from group wins or draws. Overall Balance now £26.3M 🙂 We spend £75k/Wk on wages – Next season Wage Budget now £200k/Wk 🙂 We will however be without Duffy, McGarvey & Seddon for our first Group game through suspension. A bit of a step down for our next match – Away to Mervue Utd in the FAI Cup 2nd Round 🙂 Then we have a 2-week International break.
And we have the Champions League Draw – will it be as tough as last year (Roma, Man Utd, Porto)?
Group G or H please!!!!
Sweet!! Definitely will be going for a Europa knockout spot – I’d say AA Gent will be doable, and I’m not worried about Ajax. Bayern will be interesting 🙂 And all the away ties are short flights. And I’ve just seen that Colin McGarvey has 11 goals in the Champions League so far this season 🙂 🙂
The first tranche of 2nd Round FAI Cup games have been played – All as expected.
31st August 2024 – Mervue Utd (A) – FAI Cup 2nd Round
A small change to the vistit to Bern, we go to Galway to play non-league amateur club Mervue Utd.
FT Mervue Utd 0 Dundalk 7 (Rubarth 15, 73, McGrath 18, Watts 34, Reilly 41, 43, Duffy 89) Att 767 (332 Away)
Full rotation today – even Conor O’Malley gets a rest 🙂 Plenty of chances early, but a lack of quality. Alex Rubarth opens the scoring in the 15th minute with a strong finish after being fed in by Watts. And Rubarth gets a penalty soon after, he was pushed at a corner by Calcutt. McGrath finishes well. 2-0 Dundalk. Russell Watts makes it 3 in the 34th minute – a fine strike after a period of concerted pressure. We have the ball in the net again in the 38th minute, but Barry Reilly was adjudged to be offside. Very marginal. Barry gets his goal in the 41st minute, a simple finish after great work on the break by Rubarth and Watts. it’s 5 within 2 minutes – Reilly again, a nice side-foot volley finish from a McCabe cross. McCabe won the ball back near halfway and ran the ball to the byline before crossing. Mervue have the ball in the net at the start of the 2nd half, but Brennan was miles offside. A quiet second half, it takes until the 73rd minute for Dundalk to make it 6, Rubarth with a smart finish from a tight angle, after being set free by Jenks. Michael Duffy makes it 7 with a finish from a very tight angle following a fine save from Barry Reilly, Duffy pouncing on the loose ball. It finishes 7-0.
U.C.D. with a good extra time win versus Bohemians. £25k for the win.
So that’s it for the month. Another mad one.
Just the blip where we lost to Dynamo Kyiv in an already-won tie, apart from that business-as-usual 🙂
From the above there’s some fixture rearrangements to be done, but the first 2 weeks are free due to the International break, so time to rest a few players. See you next time for our opening UCL game at home to Ajax.