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A brace each for David McMillan and Ciaran Kilduff, along with goals for Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy saw Dundalk ease to a 6-0 victory over ten-man Drogheda in the Louth Derby at United Park.
It was Dundalk who had the first effort on goal as a clever move on the right resulted in McEleney finding space but his shot was straight at McGuinness.
Drogheda’s first chance came thirteen minutes in as a short corner was played to Stephen Dunne but the full back fired over from outside the box.
Dundalk were the better side but had failed to properly test McGuinness, something that would soon change.
The game was turned on its head just after the half hour mark when Drogheda’s Thomas Byrne was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Patrick McEleney.
Dundalk hit the front just five minutes later when Stephen O’Donnell’s drive was palmed into the path of McMillan by McGuinness. McMillan kept his cool and slotted the ball underneath the Drogheda goalkeeper.
The Lilywhites doubled their lead three minutes later. Drogheda failed to clear a corner, allowing Sean Gannon to clip a ball to the back post where McMillan bundled home for his second of the game.
It was to get worse for the Boynesiders a minute before the break as Patrick McEleney was allowed too much space and placed the ball into the top corner with a stunning finish from 25 yards.
The second half began as the first had ended with attack after attack from Dundalk. Michael Duffy was denied by McGuinness. The ball rebounded out to McMillan but he scuffed his shot back to Duffy who shot, but saw the ball eventually cleared.
Dundalk were through on goal just a minute later as Gannon surged into the Drogheda box with a run that began in his own half. Gannon unselfishly squared the ball to Stewart, who had his effort saved before the ball fell back to Gannon who shot wide.
The visitors finally made it 4-0 on 58 minutes. Michael Duffy’s forward run saw him play in Stewart but instead of going for goal, Stewart played it back to his teammate who fired into the roof of the Drogheda net.
The second half continued to be dominated by Dundalk and they again increased their lead in the closing minutes.
With seven minutes left to play, shot towards goal and Kilduff, six yards out, got enough of a touch on the ball to pass it into the bottom corner of the net.
Kilduff, who came on as a substitute after 72 minutes, found himself through on goal again just two minutes later and again made no mistake as he calmly slotted home for Dundalk’s sixth.
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Ciaran McGuigan, Stephen Dunne; Killian Brennan (Sean Thornton 46), Ryan McEvoy, Sean Brennan (Mark Doyle 89); Adam Wixted, Ryan Masterson (Stephen Elliott 72), Thomas Byrne.
Subs not used: Ryan Coulter (gk), Conor Kane, Richie Purdy, Marc Griffin.
Booked: Sean Brennan (39), Colm Deasy (64), Sean Thornton (68).
Sent off: Thomas Byrne (31).
Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Nicolas Vemmelund, Dane Massey; Michael Duffy (Jamie McGrath 61’), Stephen O’Donnell (c), Robbie Benson (Chris Shields 76’), Patrick McEleney; Thomas Stewart, David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff 72’).
Subs not used: Gabriel Sava (gk), Paddy Barrett, Sean Hoare, Conor Clifford.
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Attendance: 1,800 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Patrick McEleney (Dundalk).