Back to the day job – #FM20 OS8 C2 S4 – Part 75 – Dundalk – April 2026

Welcome back for a month of domestic bliss (hopefully) – we tend to only get 3 months a season now when we aren’t involved in European Football so this allows us to hit our straps and get our cohesion up.

Normal monthly stuff to start.

Jim Collins deservedly gets IPD player of the month for Waterford – 7 goals in 5 games. At 19yo our scouts now have him at 3.5*CA!!! Matty Burrows gets goal of the month for his free kick versus Cork.

I’m at an A- with the board (The are disappointed about our draw with Limerick, our loss to Arsenal and David Dallas’s transfer (That I had nothing to do with…). Dynamics are Very Good, Excellent, Excellent.

We’ve just had a academy keeper poached by Wolves – Mikey Kelly (15)

3rd April 2026 – Waterford (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Waterford 0 Dundalk 0 Att 1,319 (210 Away)

1st play 2nd in the form standings this evening as we travel to the Deise. They are unbeaten this season, with 3 draws and 5 wins. We need to change that. A really long opening highlight, with matty Burrows nearly making ot 1-0 inside the 1st minute. Waterford have Sean Sheehan in their team today. A struggle after that highlight though, Waterford playing very tight. 0-0 at the break, though Waterford have picked up 6 yellows!! First sending off came in the 75th minute – O’Flynn with a second yellow. Constant pressure, but constant blocking also. 0-0 it finishes – domination but no finishing.

Athlone win the battle of the bottom versus Finn Harps, and St. Pat’s are the only team to win in the top 6. Shamrock lose their 4th games of the season versus Derry. Next up is the League Cup 1st Round versus Non-League Cockhill.

Our U19’s beat Monaghan Cavan 5-2, goals from 17yo MC Thomas McEvoy, 18yo STC Richie O’Sullivan, 17yo left Winger Jamie Forde and a brace from 17yo Striker Kevin O’Toole.

Longford knock Shelbourne out of the League Cup on Pens in the first game of the round.

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

7th April 2026 – Cockhill (A) – League Cup 1st Round

FT Cockhill 0 Dundalk 5 (Behrenbeck 31, 38, 53, 88, Duffy 71) Att 490 (136 Away)

No shocks today please! More committed defending as we really struggle to break Cockhill down early on. We open the scoring in the 31st minute, David Behrenbeck heading home a Dallas corner. And he makes it 2 7 minutes later, heading home a Connolly cross. We go in 2-0 up – 2 injuries reported though (Seddon & McShane) but not showing as orange. will get them off anyway. Behrenbeck makes it a hat-trick of headers in the 53rd minute, this time from a Duffy corner. Duffy gets the 4th, running all the way before scoring from an acute angle. Behrenbeck gets his 4th in the 88th minute, another header, this time from a Dallas deep cross. It finished 5-0, a good professional result, David Behrenbeck the start of the show.

No shocks.

Arsenal with a good win versus PSG and Benfica peg Man Utd back late in the first UCL Quarter Final First Legs.

We’ve had the League Cup 2nd Round Draw.

Longford away – Shamrock v St. Pat’s the tie of the round.

Schalke to back to Germany with an away goal versus Liverpool and Chelsea win the Battle of Britain versus Man City.

10th April 2026 – Derry City (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Derry City 0 Dundalk 3 (McGarvey 1, Duffy 32, Dallas 57) Att 1,439 (302 Away)

We beat Derry 6-1 10 days ago in the league – expect a tough one this evening. We now have Friday & Monday games for the next 6 weeks – 10 league games in there currently – so its vital to get the wins. And it takes 60 seconds to go 1-0 up. Derry on the attack, Medley steps in, the ball goes to Duffy who feeds a lovely ball to Big Col. He still had a fair bit to do but stroked the ball home beautifully from just inside the “D” after a mazy dribble. Derry defending really deep, no room behind them. Astler off with a foot injury in the 26th minute – real trouble with left backs at the moment. Mccabe on. And almost straight after Medley gets a hamstring pull – fuck off game! A real rearrangement – Ngoy at Centre-back with 2 DM’s in front, Taylor & Knight, with the wingbacks inverted to narrow the defensive line a bit. And we go 2-0 up in the 32nd minute – Duffy with a poked finish from an O’Malley cross. Kickoff highlight.. Nothing. We go in 2-0 up. David Dallas gets his first goal for the club in the 57th minute, a nice team move ending with him peeling away and placing a shot from an O’Malley cut-back. We look dangerous going forwards with this setup. It finishes 3-0 – with the early injuries that is a fine win.

A big day in the IPD – Waterford losing to bottom team Finn Harps, Jim Collins with another goal. Athlone beat Limerick late to go 6th, Cork beat Shamrock, who are now 7th – would be 9th apart from +2 GD on Limerick and Derry. Over a quarter of the league season gone for all apart from us, and Derry sit in the relegation playoff spot…

Bugger – Geoffrey Astler is out for a few weeks with a twisted ankle. Zech Medley will only be out fo a few days.

We are now 50 unbeaten in the League. We went 64 unbeaten from 13th Feb 2023 to 4th Oct 2024 so have 15 games to go to beat that. We’ve lost once in the league since my first game with Dundalk (1-0 loss to St. Pat’s) – that’s 2 losses in 116 IPD games, or 1 loss in 115… Athlone Town next up at home in 3 days.

Our U19’s beat Finn Harps 5-0 – goals from Kevin O’Toole and 2 braces, fro, Jamie Forde and Dom Halford.

13th April 2026 – Athlone Town (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 1 (Carlin 49) Athlone Town 1 (Cresswell 90+1) Att 3,220 (34 Away)

Athlone arrive in Co. Louth in 6th – No loss in 6 competitive matches and 4 wins on the spin, so this won’t be easy. We have a few chances early on, with a lack of composure in front of goal. 0-0 at the break; its a struggle breaking down teams when they are play either Defensive or Very Defensive. We take the lead in the 49th minute – Tommy Carlin heading in at the back post from a clipped Connolly wedge. Athlone start pushing up a bit after the goal. The half ticks away, Athlone have been good value, as their form shows. Get a sneaking feeling they may get something from this. And they do. Stoppage time, free kick met at the far post, Cresswell in space and taps home – will be interesting to see how close he was to being offside there – looks like Barton played them on. FFS. 1-1 – this is not good. Feel like we need a bit of a cull.

Waterford lose again – it’s a really strange season. Limerick next up in 4 days.

Six of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

An all-English Semi Finals has gone by the wayside as Schalke knock Liverpool out on Away Goals – wondering if that is a portent for this evening IRL… Chelsea look a cut above, knocking Man City out 5-1 on aggregate.

Man Utd through on away goals and Arsenal get knocked out by a 93rd minute Renato Sanches goal after being ahead on away goals.

17th April 2026 – Limerick F.C. (A) – Irish Premier Division

FT Limerick F.C. 0 Dundalk 6 (Moore pen 5, pen 26, Behrenbeck 23, 83, 88, Burrows 90) Att 1,574 (206 Away)

Limerick now sit 9th on 10 points, but it is all very tight – 6 points separate 5th and 10th. We have to start banging some goals in. And I think I’m going to have to settle on a first team to do so, as currently I almost fully rotate all the time. A decent start, 1-0 in the 5th minute, Stevie Moore tucking away a penalty after O#Malley was tripped by Curran. Dave Behrenbeck gets his 5th of the season in the 23rd minute, a nice header from a Barton cross. Limerick ship another penalty soon after, Stevie Moore with his 2nd of the game – This time for McCarthy bringing down Duffy. 3-0 at the break. A quiet second half, Limerick going down to 10 in the 73rd minute, ex-Dundalker Dan Cross with a second yellow. Behrenbeck makes it 4 with his second header of the game – Duffy with the corner. And he gets his hat-trick – yet another header, from a dinked Barton cross. 5-0. And Matty Burrows cracks in a direct free kick just before time to make it 6 – Another 30 yarder from him. 6-0 it finished.

Things maybe getting back to normal? Shamrock, Derry & St. Pat’s all winning. Dundalker Martin Kenny scored the winner for Waterford. Longford next up in the League Cup 2nd Round in 3 days.

Our U19’s beat Shelbourne 4-0 – goals from Tommy Coffey and a hat-trick from Richie O’Sullivan.

20th April 2026 – Longford (A) – League Cup 2nd Round

FT Longford 0 Dundalk 2 (Burrows 20, Carlin 45+1) Att 657 (131 Away)

Longford currently sit 7th in the First Division and lost 3-0 in their last game to the mighty Cobh. We look good in the opening minutes. Longford look useful going forward though. We take the lead in the 20th minute – Matty Burrows with a second bite of the cheery from a very acute angle. It’s quiet until just before half time, where Carlin heads home a deep Joe Holloway free kick. The second half was very quiet, hardly a highlight. Longford hit the post in stoppage time, that was about it. It finishes 2-0.

No major shocks, but Shamrock continue their poor season, going out on pens to St. Pat’s. Finn Harps next up in the league in 4 days.

Eight of the lads made the IPD Team of the Week.

We’ve had the league Cup Quarter Final Draw…

The toughest draw left – St. Pat’s away.

Our Youth and training facilities have now been upgraded – Now both Good. Will wait for the European TV and Coefficient Money after the UCL Final and then go for the next level.

24th April 2026 – Finn Harps (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 5 (Duffy 7, pen 71, Ngoy 37, O’Malley 40, Dallas 57) Finn Harps 1 (Rowe 50) Att 3,373 (187 Away)

Second play bottom this evening – means a tough one usually. We take the lead in the 7th minute – Michael Duffy with a back post header from a Neco Williams cross. Quite quiet until late on in the half, when Ngoy pops up with his first of the season – a towering header from an O’Malley inswinging corner. O’Malley makes it 3 five minutes before the half-time whistle – a nice header from a Duffy cross. 3-0 at the break. Finn Harps get a goal back in the 50th minute – Dundalk caught sleeping a bit, Rowe with the header. 4-1 in the 57th minute, and its a lovely goal – a thumping Dallas drive in-off the post from a Behrenbeck lay-back. And the Harps will play the last half-hour with 10 men – Kev Murphy off for a second yellow. Penalty Dundalk, 71st minute, O’Malley tripped by McGlynn. Duffy to take… 5-1. That’s how it finishes.

We go top as Cork are dispatched by Derry. Shamrock get a really good win away at St. Pat’s and Waterford continue their winning ways, Jim Collins with the winner after being 1-0 down. St. Pat’s for us next in our last game of the month.

Our U19’s beat Longford 6-1 – goals from Thomas McEvoy, Brian Smith and braces from Tommy Coffey and Jamie Forde.

27th April 2026 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division

FT Dundalk 2 (O’Malley 21, Burrows 65) St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Att 3,900 (225 Away)

We welcome a St. Pat’s side to Oriel Park who won 5 games on the trot until a 3-0 loss last game to Shamrock. They sit 4th, so I expect a tough game. A decent start, Knight with an effort well saved in the 6th minute. We take the lead in the 21st minute, an O’Malley back-post header from a Seddon cross aftre a period of sustained pressure. Massively on top as we approach the break. But we go in only 1-0 to the good – 10 shots on target… O’Malley has the ball in the net just after half time, but was very marginally offside in the build-up. Matty Burrows makes it 2 after a lovely build-up – cross from Neco Williams. He was only just on for Jordan Kelly, who can’t buy a goal (And now only shows as a 2.5* CA, so may be moving on soon). Five from time St. Pat’s go down to 10 – James with a lunge on Burrows and a second yellow. It finished 2-0 – a good result, but could have easily been 5-0.

Clear by 4 points with 2 games in hand over Cork, 5 points and 1 game in hand over Waterford. Derry move into 4th.

That’s it for April 2026.

The two draws were disappointing, but it’s looked a bit better since the Limerick win. May is another busy one – 9 matches including 2 cup games – progression in the cups will give us a Leinster Senior Cup final towards the end of June and a league Cup Semi in August. There’s some tough games in there in a row from St. Pat’s in the League Cup Quarters right until the Shamrock League game on the 25th.

We have a few days left in the month – lets see if we get anything newsworthy.

We got 4 players in the team of the week. And we have a few players getting arsey about game time (Freddy Barton & Morrison).

PSG take a 2 goal lead to Germany in the first UCL Semi.

And Man Utd take a 3 goal lead to Stamford Bridge. Would not have expected that!!

Tommy Collins is back in full training now, which is cool. I’ll re-introduce him slowly.

And that’s that. See you next post for May 2026.

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