Dortmund – PearceyPlays #FM20 OS7 C2 S3 – Part 70 – Dundalk – October 2025

Welcome back to Dundalk for a busy month of football, 10 games, the big one being Dortmund at Tallaght Stadium on the 21st.

Firstly we have 3 games in 4 days, the big one being an FAI Cup Semi versus St. Pat’s.

Matty Burrows came 3rd in the IPD goal of the month – a 30-yarder versus Shelbourne for Derry.

We have £38.2M in the bank, I’m an ‘A’ with the board, Dynamics are Very Good/Excellent/Excellent.

Wednesday night UCL action – Benfica with a big win over Man City.

Twelve players called up for the internationals in a few days time. Think we will have at least 1 game impacted.

Shamrock salvage a point in the 96th minute versus Derry – two Dundalkers on the scoresheet. St. Pat’s will be kicking themselves as they stay 5 points behind in 3rd with a draw versus Cork.

3rd October 2025 – Cobh Ramblers (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 6 (McShane 7, pen 19, Carlin 37, Taylor 53, Kelly 73, Hanna 89) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 4,003 (32 Away)

Looking for a decent performance from the lads this evening, a mix of experience and youth on show. A decent enough start, Dundalk with lots of the ball and Higgins making a few good saves for Cobh. 1-0, 7th minute, Colm McShane with a thunderous half-volley at the far post from a dinked Hanna cross. McShane has really come on leaps and bounds this season. 19th minute, McShane wins a penalty after a challenge from Keaney. he takes it himself… gorgeous, inside the left upright, 2-0. Superb goal for 3-0, Tommy Carlin with a great header from a whipped Neco Williams cross. 3-0 at the break. Not a good start to the 2nd half for Cobh – O’Neill getting himself sent off for a lunge on Hanna. It’s a thunderbastard for 4-0, Jake Taylor, 1st game back from injury with a 30 yarder off the bottom of the crossbar. Stunning goal. Jordan gets himself a goal in the 73rd minute – a fine, powerful header from a pinged Connolly cross. Pushing for the 6th, and we get it in the 89th, Neil Hanna with a lovely placed curler, in off the left-hand post, just outside the ‘D’. Assist pass from Connolly. Cobh down to 9 for the last 90 seconds, Agnew with a 2nd yellow. All over, 6-0 it finished.

Limerick get 5, 4 of the goals from Dundalkers Ger Ryan, Josh Donnelly & Jim Collins (2). Waterford drop back in 5th, the loss to Shelbourne meaning Cobh are now 5 points back. Longford are now relegated. St. Pat’s next up for us in less than 48 hours for the FAI Cup Semi.

Our U19’s won 6-2 versus Waterford in the National League Playoff Quarter Finals, goals from 16yo MC triallist David Robertson, 16yo AML triallist Kevin McCann, 16yo AMR triallist Paddy Cunningham and a hat-trick from Dom Halford.

5th October 2025 – St. Pat’s Athletic (A) – FAI Cup Semi Final

FT St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Dundalk 2 (Collins 57, McGarvey 64) Att 3,270 (652 Away)

First play 3rd in this semi final, 4th play 2nd in the other. Expecting a tough one away from home. Dundalk with the majority of the ball in the first half but few good chances. 0-0 at the the break. Changing to a wider style, down the wings, try to stretch the St. Pat’s team out of shape. Better, but Bossin is keeping them in the game. We take the lead in the 57th minute, Collins with his first goal in a while, a good near-post header from a Big Col cross. McGarvey is having a great game today. St. Pat’s come straight back and have the balll in the net from a free kick, but Traynor was 2 yards offside when the ball was passed to him. Going to a 4-1-4-1 again, their 4-4-1-1 is giving them to much time in that Dundalk DM area, so Holloway comes on to break that link. And we go 2-0 up, McGarvey with a nice finish after a great ball over by Stevie Moore. Great play lads. We maintain the pressure and see the game out. We win 2-0, FAI Cup Final here we come 🙂 £58k for the win.

Derry just 9 minutes from the final when Hamilton scores an unfortunate Oggie. They go to a replay. The Cup Final is on 2nd November.

Right, 48 hours until Cobh again, this time down on the south coast.

Seven of the lads have made the IPD team of the week.

7th October 2025 – Cobh Ramblers (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Dundalk 4 (Ngoy 3, Kelly 32, Connolly 79, Carlin 82) Att 386 (123 Away)

Cobh will be without their 2 sendings-off from our game 4 days ago, O’Neill & Agnew. They have Sam Bone away on international duty for Malaysia, we have Joe Holloway out with Ireland U21’s. 1-0 in 131 seconds, Ngoy with a tap-in after Higgins flaps and parries a Hanna free kick straight to him. The more I see Geoffrey Astler play at left back the more i’m impressed – feel like he is going to be a star. He has a wand of the left foot. Great goal for 2-0. Astler screams down the left wing, passes inside to Hanna, clips it to McShane, who side-foot volley’s it straight into Kelly’s path, and Jordan finishes nicely from 7 yards. Gorgeous football. I doubt I’ll be able to get Jenks back next season (He’s on £45k/wk with Leicester) and Neil Hanna definitely good enough to be in line to be our playmaker. Lots of love for the lefties 🙂 2-0 at the break. A quiet second half, the lads looking a bit tired. We make it 3-0 in the 79th minute and it’s a stunner – Brian Connolly on the volley from a Kelly cross. Three minutes later it’s 4-0, Carlin with a good finish, Higgins rooted to the spot, after being slipped in by Mark Hanratty. That’ll do pig. 4-0 it finished.

Six games left, 102 points possible – It won’t be a record as we got 103 last season, but we did lose 1 (Derry City) so at least this can be a Invincible season if not a record points haul. We are 18 goals back on our goalscoring record (116) currently and we’ve let 6 goals less in so far (9 in 30 games).

And we will be playing Derry City in the FAI Cup Final. Matty Burrows looked to have won it for Derry in extra time but Brian Sammon scored a penalty 3 minutes from time to take it Pens. Derry won 7-6, Paddy Scott with the winning penalty.

Jamie Forde played 18 minutes in Ireland U19’s 3-1 loss to Croatia. The day after Tommy Carlin, Neil Hanna and Aidan Hamilton played in N. Ireland U21’s 0-0 draw with Turkey and Tommy Collins and Stevie Moore played in N. Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Scotland.

And Jason Knight played 16 minutes for Ireland in their 1-1 draw with Sweden.

Our U19’s fail again when it gets to the domestic playoffs, losing 2-1 to Limerick, Dom Halford with the goal.

13th October 2025 – Shamrock Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Shamrock Rovers 0 Dundalk 3 (Kelly 14, Halford 85, McShane 88) Att 3,663 (664 Away)

A bit of a bare-bones look to the team todays as we have 12 players away on international duty. Shamrock have a couple, Andrew Moore the main loss. I will be getting him in January, even if I loan him back to Shamrock for the season. A quiet start after the initial highlight. We take the lead in the 14th minute, a wonderful ball from Taylor to Behrenbeck, 50 yards, and David is really unselfish, a first-time pass straight into Jordan’s path, and he goes in and scores his 23rd of the season in his 100th appearance for Dundalk. Beautiful play all around. Dundalk on top as we move towards half-time. 1-0 at the break. Shamrock down to 10 for the last 20 minutes as we have a quiet second half, Flynn with a 2nd yellow. We make it 2-0 5 minutes from time, Dom Halford with his first goal for Dundalk 1sts, a fine flicked header from a Jake Taylor corner. Three minutes later it’s 3-0 – Colm McShane with the finish at the 3rd time of asking, after 2 blocks. It finishes 3-0 – A great showing by the lads versus 2nd in the table.

We can’t do it for you St. Pat’s!! They could have closed to 2 points but stay 5 back after losing to Cork in stoppage time. We are now 28 points clear. Forty-Eight hour turnaround again, Shelbourne next up at Oriel Park.

We’ve had some more international football. Tommy Carlin, Neil Hanna and Aidan Hamilton played in N. Ireland U21’s 0-0 draw with Sweden. And Michael Duffy got 29 minutes in Ireland’s 2-2 draw with England, getting an assist for Troy Parrott’s equaliser.

Ten of the lads made the IPD team of the week.

And the last internationals of this break had Jamie Forde playing for Ireland U19’s in their 4-0 win versus Kosovo, getting an assist, and Tommy Collins, Stevie Moore & Colin McGarvey playing in N. Ireland’s 4-0 win over the Faroes, Tommy with a goal and Big Col with a brace.

15th October 2025 – Shelbourne (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 0 Shelbourne 0 Att 2,723 (158 Away)

Regardless of what happens this evening Cobh need 2 wins from their last 5 games to surpass Shelbourne and escape the relegation playoff, versus one of Athlone Town, Bohemians, Finn Harps or Sligo Rovers. Nearly 1-0 in the 2nd minute, Morrison heading against the post. Pretty quiet from then though. 0-0 at the break. Plenty of cahnces in the first 15 of the 2nd half, but lacking a bit of quality. Feels like a 0-0. We’ve had chances to put this one away, Kelly missing a simple 1-on-1 after great work by Behrenbeck with 3 minutes left. Stoppages, McShane missing another easy one. It finishes 0-0, Shelbourne Keeper McCabe with 10 saves.

Not much to say about that. Another 48-hour turnaround – Relegated Longford away. They won’t have played for 2 weeks, and have lost their last 11 in a row – expect a tough game…

Longford will be my 200th game as Manager of Dundalk.

17th October 2025 – Longford (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Longford 2 (Cawley 18, Scales 73) Dundalk 4 (McGarvey 3, 9, Duffy 20, 39) Att 837 (329 Away)

Let’s smash them (I will never forgive them for that idiotic 2-2 earlier in the season). Conor O’Malley’s 175th game for Dundalk this evening. And we take the lead in the 3rd minute, Big Col with his 21st of the season, a nice header from a pinpoint Hanna cross. And he makes it 2-0 and 22 for the season with a banger across Horgan in the Longford net, the assist a simple pass from Hanna. 2-1 in the 18th minute – a 25-yard DFK from Cawley, O’Malley should have done better. Don’t poke the bear, 3-1, 2 minutes later, Duffy with a nice header from an O’Malley cross. That’s what you get with no full-backs. Duffy gets his 2nd in the 39th minute, another header, this time from a Williams cross. 4-1. And that’s what we take in with us at half-time. Longford get another one in the 73rd minute, Scales with a back post header. It finishes 4-2 – looked tired in that 2nd half. Feeling like we need a new Keeper as well – Sorry Conor!

Just 3 points now between 2nd and 3rd as Shamrock draw with Cobh and St. Pat’s beat Derry, Matty Burrows with a brace for the losers. Right, 5 days until Dortmund in Germany. Get something and we’ve got a decent chance at some European knockout football again this season, all that money and lots of lovely coefficient points.

Colm making leaps. However he’s showing declines in his attributes for some reason. Weird.

Neil also making leaps and/or bounds. 18 First Touch/Flair, 16 Tekkers/Vision & 17 Teamwork!

Shamrock really don’t want 2nd, losing 4-2 to Derry, Matty Burrows with a hat-trick. Looking forward to getting him into our squad next season. St. Pat’s will go 2nd with a win.

Our U19’s remain top of Group E with a 2-2 draw with Dortmund – Tommy Carlin & Dom Halford with the goals.

Four of the lads made the IPD team of the week.

21st October 2025 – Borussia Dortmund (A) – UCL Group E Matchday 3

Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund. Capacity 81,365(!)

We make the short (600 mile) journey to Dortmund with another chance of a shock. Dortmund are 2nd in the Bundesliga – The only game they’ve lost this season is Lazio. They won their last game 2-0 versus Hoffenheim, but they did draw the previous 4 games… They look like 4-2-3-1 merchants – what a surprise…

FT Borussia Dortmund 5 (Dollberg 12, 34, Brandt 17, 82, Manco 33) Dundalk 1 (Collins 43) Att 59,471 (205 Away)

Dortmund start this as 2/1 favourites. And they are lining up with a 4-2-4. Let’s see what we can do. A decent start, got the boys on Stay on Feet, but we go 1-0 down in the 12th minute, Kasper Dollberg with a back post header from close range. I’ve said this before, if only Tommy Collins could header, he’s missed a couple now. And Dortmund go 2-0 up in the 17th minute, Julian Brandt with a 25 yarder. They are playing really wide so will try to go narrow. But we go 3 down in the 33rd minute, Manco with a good volley. We’ve not got much of a reply. 4-0 from the kick off, Dollberg with a good header. This is fucking awful. So I go to neutral tackling and we get a goal back – Collins stabbing the ball home after O’Malley hits the post. A bit better. Can’t say this won’t end 8-3 though. 4-1 Dortmund at the break. We are looking far better on the break now. We get to the 82nd minute before Dortmund make it 5 – Brandt with another decent shot. All over. A better second half but they blew us away in the first half hour. 5-1 Dortmund. Will not change how we normally play next time.

OK – The same Lazio we beat 3-2 has beaten Barca 1-0… Don’t think we need to worry about European knockout football this season.

Right, back to the day job, 3 league games in 6 days to round out the month and the League season. Derry next in 3 days.

Wednesday night UCL games – Galatasaray v Lyon ends with a bang – 88 & a 90+1 equaliser for OL. Krasnodar hold Arsenal to a good draw.

24th October 2025 – Derry City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Derry City 1 (Miskelly 77) Dundalk 3 (Kelly 9, Hanna 27, Duffy pen 57) Att 1,385 (276 Away)

1st play 4th this evening. We have rotated with our penultimate league game versus St. Pat’s in just 3 days. A good start from the boys in the pouring Derry October rain. Jordan gets his 24th of the season to make it 1-0, tapping in at the back post after a Steve Seddon corner made its way through unimpeded. Neil Hanna makes it 2-0 with a lovely curling direct free kick from 30 yards. 27 minutes gone. Apart from that it’s quite a tight game. 2-0 at the break. Dundalk get a harsh penalty in the 58th minute – Devlin with what looks like a great tackle on McShane. But it wasn’t apparently. Duffy to take… Lawlor guesses right but it’s hit too well. 3-0. Miskelly gets 1 back in the 77th minute with a well struck shot. Time ticks down, it finishes 3-1.

The fight for 2nd will go to the final game as Shamrock lose for the 11th time this season versus Cork and St. Pat’s get a point at Waterford. Longford get their first win of the season versus Shelbourne by as Cobh lost they will be playing in the relegation playoff. The First Division title goes to the final day – Athlone leading Bohemians by 8 goals, both on 51 points. Finn Harps and Sligo will both be in the playoffs, plus one of the above.

Our U19’s beat St. Mochtas 3-0 goals from Martin Kenny, 16yo triallist striker Gary Murphy & 17yo triallist striker Connor Coughlan.

Had this before, might be seeing something at the end of the season.

27th October 2025 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 4 (McGarvey 10, Stevie Moore 33, Collins 38, Knight 45+1) St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Att 4,483 (208 Away)

First plays third this evening as St. Pat’s try to push Shamrock with their game in hand. We have rotated, have they? Not as much as we have, which will be important in the 2nd half. We go 1-0 up in the 10th minute, a surging run from Astler, a simple cross and McGarvey finishes well at the near post. 23rd of the season for Big Col. St. Pat’s come back at us, pressing intently. Bossin keeping them in it again though. Stevie Moore makes it 2 in the 33rd minute – a nice volley from an O’Malley free kick as Dundalk breaks the offside trap. A great team goal for #3, Collins finishing off a good move, O’Malley with yet another assist. 38 for the season for Tommy now! And it’s 4 just before half time, as we flood forward. Knight with the tap-in after Duffy brought the ball forward, Collins initially retrieving the ball. Quality counter. A quiet second half, job done in the 1st. It finishes 4-0.

The fight for 2nd goes to the final day, with Shamrock, Derry & St. Pat’s all in with a shout. Everything else is decoded, except Cork could go past Waterford in 5th if they beat us and Waterford lose.

Seven of the lads made the penultimate IPD team of the week.

Think we knew this but we will be playing Larne in the All-Ireland Champions Cup. They won the Danske bank Premiership last season and currently sit 1st by 7 points after 13 games. The PurpleBricks owner pumped a load of money into Larne IRL – They have a salary bill per annum of £4.4M. We have a bill of £3.3M! Our finances are now officially Rich (Larne Secure) – 1 of only 60 teams in Europe that have that Rich status!

30th October 2025 – Cork City (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 2 (Kelly 46, Connolly 54) Cork City 0 Att 4,500 (225 Away)

Expecting a tough one today, Cork always up their game against us. We have the ball in the net in the 11th minute – A Jenks header, but he was offside at the back post. Marginal. And we get a penalty straight after, O’Malley tripped by Kirk. Jenks takes it… Saved, straight down the middle, a terrible penalty… Ryan in goal for Cork performing heroics to keep Dundalk out in the first 20. And we go in 0-0. 72% possession but a lack of quality. Hairdryer. 1-0 dundalk, 45:21 on the clock, a Kelly header from a Kiene cross for his 25th of the season. Better! And it’s 2-0 in the 54th minute, Connolly with a fine half-volley finish from an O’Malley cross. O’Malley’s 25th Assist of the season, Brian’s 17th goal. We continue to push but we end the game 2-0 winners. Invincible season complete 🙂 Will await the Steam achievement (Think it happens when the season turns over).

Season done. 100pts, 102 GD. Shamrock take 2nd with a final day win, Derry 3rd by 4 GD with a 2-1 win at Limerick, all goals scored by Dundalk players, St. Pat’s 4th with a 3-2 win not enough to unseat Derry. Longford relegated, Cobh will be into the playoff. Just the bottom 2 left to play tomorrow. The First Division’s final games are also tomorrow, and i’ll report back with the result.

The board are happy 🙂

And the last league game in the IPD has happened. I fear for Cobh in the playoff, Longford leaving the IPD on a high. We get £383k for the IPD title.

Athlone promoted as Champions on a nervy night as Bohs lose at home to Sligo. Four seasons in a row now where Bohemians have finished 2nd. 2nd season in a row when they could have gained promotion on the final day and choked. Sligo & Finn Harps make up the playoffs. Sligo are the form team – not lost in 2 months.

So that’s that for October 2025.

Dortmund was obviously disappointing but we reached another domestic cup final (FAI Cup) and finished off an invincible League season, so it wasn’t too bad overall 🙂

See you next time for 6 cup games and the chance at 2 more pieces of silverware. See you soon.

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