Bayer 04 – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS7 C2 S3 – Part 61 – Dundalk – March 2025

BayArena, Leverkusen, Capacity 30,210

Welcome back to a March 2025 that could potentially see us into the Europa League Quarter Finals in mid-April (Which would be mad!)

We will be putting a (very) young side out for the Bohs game before we host Bayer 04 on the 6th. Firstly the start of the month stuff.

We have almost £22M in the bank 🙂 We are a B (A Fucking B!!!!) with the board. Think the board have not been particularly happy with me buying all the youth players 🙂 Dynamics are Very Good, Excellent, Excellent 🙂

Lots of IPD games getting decided in injury time – St. Pat’s getting all 3 points in the 93rd minute.

And our U19’s won 1-0 over St. Peter’s Athlone – the goal from 16yo winger Jamie Forde.

Jordan Kelly out for 3 weeks with a groin strain… not ideal.

Shelbourne keep up their good start with a great point versus Derry – Matty Burrows with another goal for Derry.

And Barry Reilly gets another goal and assist for St. Johnstone! They are through to the Scottish Cup Semi now.

3rd March 2025 – Bohemians (H) – Leinster Senior Cup 4th Round

FT Dundalk x (Foulkes 3, Connolly 83) Bohemians x Att 2,644 (128 Away)

The Bohs have not started their IPD season well – Played 2 lost 2, Drogheda & Athlone. We have a youthful side out; this will be the first start for 6 of the starting 11 this season and there will be 5 debuts. Expecting a potentially-disjointed performance, though I’m hoping to be surprised. And we go 1-0 up in the 3rd minute, a debut goal for Tim Foulkes (DL, 18yo, ex-Wrexham & FC United), a lovely back-post header from a Russell Watts deep free kick. The kids are doing good so far 🙂 We are getting lots of set pieces – looks like they are Getting Stuck In, and they go down to 10 men in the 29th minute – McCourt with a second yellow. Dominant display, but only 1-0 at the break. A quiet second half, we have the ball in the net in the 78th minute – a fine Tommy Carlin header, but he was offside, 5 yards or so 🙂 We finally get the 2nd goal in the 83rd minute – Brian Connolly with a tap-in after a good break, McGarvey’s shot saved in his path. The Bohs keeper has been very good, saving 20 out of 22 shots!. It finishes 2-0. Athlone up in the QF’s.

More IPD action – Longford stay on 1 point as they lose to Waterford (Old boy Sean Gannon getting sent off)

We’ve had a scouting report for Bayer – we’ve beaten Bayern this season, I’m not quaking in my boots (Watch us get spanked now…)

6th March 2025 – Bayer 04 (GER) (H – Tallaght Stadium) – Europa League 2nd Knockout Round 1st Leg

FT Dundalk 2 (Collins 15, 42) Bayer 04 1 (Pedrinho 41) Att 8,000 (1,508 Away)

Bayer are currently in 8th in the Bundesliga and have drawn their last 2 games, 3-3 with Monchengladbach and 4-4 with Wolfsburg, but they haven’t lost since the end of last year (when they lost 4 in a row, including 3-0 to Bayern). We are without Jordan, Josh Taylor & Steve Seddon to injury. A quietish start, but Big Col maybe should have opened the scoring in the 15th minute after dispossessing a Bayer defender. However from the resultant throw in we do go 1-0 up – Tommy Collins finishing from close in after great work by Michael Duffy. Great play lads 🙂 Absolutely pouring with rain this evening. They really don’t like the press as well. Bayer get an equaliser in the 41st minute – Pedrinho with a decent finish after a good team move. Kickoff highlight… FUCKING 2-1 DUNDALK LADS!!! Tommy Collins again there to finish after a lovely move, Steven O’Malley ghosting past defenders like they’re not there 🙂 2-1 at the break. Bayer come out strong for the 2nd half, Conor pulling off some fine saves. Michael Duffy picks up a tight calf just before 70 – Connolly on. A big moment in the 75th minute – Tommy Collins released by a magnificent ball by Watts but is robbed just as he’s about to shoot. Tight as we go into the last few minutes, very stretched, a bit of scrambling from both sides. But it’s finished – we take a 1-goal advantage to the BayArena next week!!

(Almost) all the ties with lots still to play for – I wouldn’t expect Man U to lose by 4 clear at Old Trafford. 36yo Sergio Aguero scoring for Bournemouth 🙂 We have Shelbourne in the league next up in 4 days, their best player according to our scouts is Bosun Lawal, ex-Dundalk. They also have left-back Paddy Keane, whom we released in the summer.

Another stoppage time win tin the IPD as Shamrock take the points versus Cobh/ St. Pat’s make a statement against Derry, Matty Burrows win another goal, and another Dundalker Barry O’Leary gets a hat-trick for Waterford versus Cork. We are languishing in 6th 🙂

Unfortunately Matty has twisted his ankle – 5-6 weeks. Should I recall him from loan… Very tempted. But he is Very Happy on loan so I’ll leave it.

Shelbourne continue their great start with a 3-1 win. We play them in 48 hours.

10th March 2025 – Shelbourne (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Shelbourne 0 Dundalk 3 (Collins 12, 53, McShane 89) Att 1,216 (654 Away)

We finally play our 3rd league game of the season (Some have played 6) languishing in 7th. Shelbourne sit 3rd – no loss in 4, only 1 loss on the League (Shamrock), a draw versus Derry and a win versus Cork. With our 2nd leg versus Bayer in just 3 days its a rotated side. I’m backing my youth players – DLP Hanna & DL Astler with their 2nd games for us. Also going Cover/Stopper with Morrison & Stevie Moore. Colm McShane is also developing into that right wing position well. A quiet start, though Shelbourne look tired. We take the lead in the 12th minute, Tommy Collins with his 7th of the season, a good header, rising above 2 defenders (Which is easier when you are 6ft 8) from a Watts corner. Although we have been completely on top we only go in at the break 1-0 up – mainly down to McCabe in the Shelbourne goal. We get the second in the 53rd minute – an identikit goal of the 1st, Watts corner, Collins header, except this took a bit of a deflection. 3-0 a minute from time – Colm McShane with the finish after a nod down by Big Col, stemming from a lovely Astler cross. 3-0 it finishes, a great result.

St. Pat’s look like the guys to beat (We have twice so far this season) as we move up to 3rd. OK, Bayer 04 next over in Leverkusen. We’re going to give it a bloody good go!

Three of the lads get into the IPD team of the week – Stevie Moore, Russell Watts and Tommy Collins.

Second legs of the UCL – Inter progress and Madrid make a real statement with an 8-1 aggregate defeat of Juve.

Shamrock’s form continues to pick up – another win, this time versus Limerick.

Bayer have lost 2-1 again, this time to RB Leipzig – no win in 4 now for them 🙂

Expected results in the UCL on the Wednesday.

13th March 2025 – Bayer 04 (GER) (A) – Europa League 2nd Knockout Round 2nd Leg

FT Bayer 04 0 Dundalk 4 (Watts 27, Collins 32, O’Malley 46, McGarvey 80) Att 27,245 (245 Away) – Dundalk wins 6-1 on Aggregate(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

If I were a betting man I’d say Bayer will win this. I’m not a betting man though. We will give it a bloody good go. As expected Bayer start well, what with being at home and all that. but it stays pretty tight until the 27th minute, when a spectacular move gives Dundalk the lead. Bayer really pressing hard, but we end up passing our way out of it until Freddy Barton gets the ball from a Jenks pass. His low cross is finished beautifully by Russell Watts. And then the unimaginable happens. It’s 2-Fucking-0 Lads!! 4-1 on aggregate! Same avenue, Freddy Barton, a lovely looping cross, a volley back into the middle by Duffy and a simple headed finish from Tommy Collins! Bayer need 4!!! Expecting some kind of reply now… But we get in at half-time 2-0 toii th e good. 45 minutes from the Europa League Quarters!!! And what a start to the half – Steven O’Malley gets a corner, Watts takes it and O’Malley volleys in unchallenged from 6 yards 🙂 3-0 DUNDALK!!!!!!!!!!! Getting a few Bayer highlights, but they nearly always end up being ours as we harry and dispossess them on a regular basis. The 245 Dundalk fans are having a lovely time of it 🙂 20 minutes left. And Conor has made some lovely saves this evening, let’s not forget him. Was thinking about taking Big Col off but glad I didn’t – it’s 4-0 lads!!!! A McGarvey header from a Watts corner – set-piece kings! Think we are safe now 🙂 🙂 Their 19yo Keeper will not want to remember this, his 9th first team appearance of his career. Bayer have passed well this evening, but always end up keeping the ball too long, and we take it off them. Duffy has the ball in the net from another set piece 5 minutes from time, but it’s (wrongly) ruled out for offside – he wasn’t offside and nobody else interfered with play. Bayer do the same a minute later, Diaby offside, by a yard or so. What a performance!! Dundalk win 4-0 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate 🙂 🙂 🙂 A demolition of a top Bundesliga side!

Bring anybody on now 🙂 That’s two 6-1 aggregate results in the knockout rounds in a row. We’ve beaten Saltzburg and Man Utd of those left recently! Roma sneak through on away goals and Lille put Sporting out. Will be an interesting QF/SF draw! £947k into the pot. We will be without Jenks, Freddy Barton & Watts in the first leg due to yellows.

And we have the Europa League Draw(s) – Both Quarters and Semi’s drawn today.

It’s Roma 🙂 6th in Serie A!

That 1st tie is interesting – might give a path to the final. let’s see the Semi draw.

It’s Lazio or Bournemouth. Lazio currently 3rd in Serie A, Bournemouth 8th in the Premier League. We will get £1.29M for appearing in the Quarters. Will give it our best shot.

We’re also on 18 coefficient points now this season – We sit 88th in the club coefficient seedings – you have to go as high as 31st (Milan) to get 18 this season – We are joint 9th overall in Europe this season on coefficients!!

Ireland currently sit 24th in Europe on coefficients – If you just look at 24/25 Ireland would be 11th (Automatic UCL group stage places start at 10th). And we will be 19th next year currently. I need to get Ireland into that Top 10 :). 17th would mean we’d start at the 2nd Qualification round in the UCL (Saving 2 games), 15th would get Ireland a 2nd UCL place (Best Placed 2nd Qual Rnd) and an Europa league qualification place. 14th would mean we’d start in the 3rd Qual Rnd. 12th means we’d start in the play-off (So definitely would have Europa league group stage football). Top 10 is the dream – maybe by 2027?

Right – Athlone Town next in another Quarter Final – the Leinster Senior Cup 🙂

More IPD football, Limerick with a 10 v 10 thrashing. Dundalker Josh Donnelly (18yo MC) with a brace. Ger Ryan with a 9.2 as well for Limerick.

Leinster Senior Cup QF action – as expected except that Shamrock only beat U.C.D. 1-0. Ex-Dundalk player Harry Durham with a brace for St. Pat’s

Our U19’s beat Sligo 4-2 – goals from Andrew Carroll (17yo STC) and a hat-trick from Richie O’Sullivan (17yo STC)

16th March 2025 – Athlone Town (H) – Leinster Senior Cup Quarter Final

FT Dundalk 5 (Rubarth 1, 10, McShane 3, 42, Carlin 6) Athlone Town 0 Att 2,519 (8 Away)

Athlone are sitting top of the First Division and haven’t lost this season so far, but have drawn their last 2 games 1-1 (Wexford & Bray). Old Cobh friends Dara Costelloe, Eoin Porter & Ben O’Riordan are in their squad. And we get our first 1st minute goal in a while, Alex Rubarth finishing off a Connolly cross with a lovely volley after a succession of great passes. And it’s 2-0 inside of 3 minutes, Colm McShane heading home another Brian Connolly cross – the pass and move is amazing with these lads. And we make it 3 inside 6 minutes, Carlin finishing a beautiful Rubarth pass. Demolition Job. Tommy Carlin’s first goal for Dundalk (He scored 9 for Sligo last season). 4-0 in the 10th minute, a great header from Alex Rubarth from a Neil Hanna (18yo Playmaker, £65k from Glenavon) cross. Men (Actually boys in the majority) versus boys. Quietens down a bit from then on. It takes until the 42nd minute to make it 5 – McShane with his second of the game, a fine back-post header from a Hanna corner. 5-0 at the break. A very quiet second half – it finished 5-0.

Shelbourne put Crumlin away – it’s a strong Semi Final line up.

We’re being given 2 more scouts!! Plus I see we have room for a Technical Director. With all these staff members now it might be a good idea.

Limerick get another creditable point, this time versus St. Pat’s!!!

We’ve had 11 international call-ups. Should imagine we will have a good few more in the next few days.

And we’ve had the Leinster Senior Cup Semi Final Draw.

It’s Shamrock 🙂

UCL 1st KO Round 2nd legs – Man City with a great win versus Milan.

Another 8 players called up, making it 19 overall.

Another one of those Anfield european nights as Liverpool score 3 times with 10 men, including a 90th minute goal to go 3-2 up on aggregate versus Bayern. Chelsea remaining one of the best teams in Europe with a fine win versus Atletico.

21st March 2025 – Cork City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Cork City 0 Dundalk 2 (Taylor 27, Collins 30) Att 4,229 (176 Away)

Cork are currently 7th in the IPD. Since 2 wins and 2 draws they’ve lost their last 2 league games (Shelbourne & Waterford) and they will be withouth Gerry O’Halloran, their best player, because we own him 🙂 Cork start off well. Jake Taylor is back from injury but pulls up lame with pulled knee ligaments – FFS. But before I can bring him off he opens the scoring with a banger from 25 yards after a tap-back by Tommy Collins and great work from Ray Moore. Watts comes on for Taylor, and within a couple of minutes it’s 2 – a Tommy Collins tap-in volley from a Watts inswinger. Better (We’ve made so many mistakes so far today). 2-0 at the break. 10 minutes in Ray Moore gets a straight red for a ‘Shocking Challenge’ – Fuck off, absolute horseshit (And I will say so when asked and will definitely appeal). Within minutes it’s 10 v 10 – O’Connor sent off for a 2nd yellow. the rest of the game goes by rather serenely with few highlights. We win a retarded game 2-0.

A bit of a mad one this game day – Longford look like the whipping boys this season, Derry nick a win versus Limerick in the 94th minute after Dundlak’s Ger rayn equalised for Limerick in the 90th. St. Pat’s drop points versus Shelbourne and Waterford win a 9-goal thriller versus Shamrock, Barry O’Leary with another couple of goals.

Jake Taylor out for another 2 weeks… will be bringing him back very slowly.

That’s it for games this month – next up is Waterford on 4th April.

A great month – only 1 goal conceded, that 6-1 versus Bayer and a perfect season so far – 11 wins out of 11. next month is a huge one – the potential to get to the Europa League Semis and 5 league games (Currently). We have the international break now, so let’s see how the lads perform.

A strong true U19’s side beat Derry 9-0, goals from Neil Hanna, Sean Brennan, Tim Foulkes, Alan Brady & 5 (Again – 2nd time this season) from Tommy Carlin.

A rarity! Ray Moore’s Red Card has been rescinded!!

We’ve had the first set of international games – 11 players in action. Geoffrey Mpande played in Denmark U19’s 1-0 win over Poland. Sean Brennan and Jim Collins played in Ireland U19’s 1-1 draw with Wales. Liam Morrison got a 7.0 for Scotland U21’s in their 3-0 win over Belarus. Aidan Hamilton, Neil Hanna and Tommy Carlin played in N. Ireland U21’s 0-0 with Poland and 4 of the lads played in Ireland U21’s 3-0 win over Turkey – Jordan Kelly, back from injury with a goal and a 7.7, Ray Moore with a 7.7. Barry O’Leary and Evan O’Donovan.

Michael Duffy played in Ireland’s 1-0 win over Sweden.

We had 13 players in action on 28th March. Liam Morrison scored and averaged 7.8 in Scotland U21’s 3-0 win over Bulgaria. Aidan Hamilton, Neil Hanna and Tommy Carlin played in N. Ireland U21’s 3-0 loss to Italy. Jordan Kelly, Joe Holloway, Ray Moore, Barry O’Leary & Evan O’Donovan player in Ireland U21’s 2-0 win over Iceland, Jordan with another goal. Geoffrey Mpande played in Denmark U19’s 2-0 loss to Spain and unfortunately got injured (Out for a week or so) and Jim Collins, Sean Brennan and Alan Brady played in Ireland U19’s 3-1 win over Slovakia. Just looking at the Euro U21’s and Ireland And N. Ireland are in the same group 🙂 with Belgium & France! Liam Morrison will be playing for Scotland U21’s as well. We will have some selection issues in June when that is ongoing.

Our U19’s won 4-0 versus Shels – Goals from 17yo DR Shaun Costello, 17yo STC Andrew Carroll and a brace from 17yo MC Adam Kelly.

Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore & Colin McGarvey played in N. Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Scotland.

Steve Seddon now injured again, ankle ligaments, 3 weeks… Glad we’ve got Geoffrey Astler now for left back as well as Ryan Corrigan.

And that’s that for the month. See you next time for some Europa League Quarter Final action 🙂

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: