Goals from Jamie McGrath, Robbie Benson and an own goal from Kevin Devaney helped Dundalk to a 3-0 win over Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.
The homeside made four changes to the side that defeated Finn Harps 3-1 in the league on Friday night with Charlie Burns and Rory Hall both making debuts for Shane Keegan’s side.
Dundalk rang the changes from the 3-0 victory over Limerick at Oriel Park as Jamie McGrath Thomas Stewart, Michael Duffy, Stephen O’Donnell, Shane Grimes and Gabriel Sava came in the side.
The Lillywhites made the perfect start with 10 minutes played as Michael Duffy had a shot cleared off the line before it rebounded out to Jamie McGrath who took the ball expertly past two defenders and fired low into the left hand corner.
Dundalk could easily have added a second just a minute later but debutant Charlie Burns saved expertly to his bottom right hand side to deny Robbie Benson.
Dundalk were all over Galway in the opening stages and a goal ruled out in the 16th minute as Sean Hoare was deemed to have climbed over his man causing a free to be awarded.
Galway’s best and only effort of the half fell to Gary Shanahan as his cross on the right almost turned into a spectacular effort but it was clawed away by Gabriel Sava.
Galway failed to make anything out of their possession as Dundalk had dominated the opening half as Dundalk lead 1-0 at the break thanks to McGrath’s opening goal.
Dundalk made it 2-0 in the 56th minute but maybe under dubious conditions, John Mountney broke through the Galway defense before Marc Ludden made what looked like a perfect tackle to send the ball out for a corner but the linesman flagged for a penalty which Robbie Benson slotted home into the bottom corner.
With Galway trailing 2-0 they tried to spark a comeback as Rory Hale had their first shot on target after 57 minutes before Stephen Folan and Shanahan both had headers sent over the bar
The game as a contest was over after 77 minutes as Dundalk had their third of the afternoon, Sean Gannon was sent through on the right hand side and delivered a cross into the area which deflected off Kevin Devaney into his own net passed Burns.
Galway were looking for a consolation goal late on and Eoin McCormack almost had the net bulging but Sava got down low to save as the rebound fell to Colm Horgan but his shot hit the side netting.
Dundalk saw out proceedings with a 3-0 win as they booked their place in the EA Sports Cup Semi Final.
Galway United: Charlie Burns; Colm Horgan, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Folan, Marc Ludden; Gary Shanahan, David Cawley, Gavan Holohan, Rory Hale(Alex Byrne 73), Kevin Devaney(Ronan Manning 89); Padraic Cunningham(Eoin McCormack 73).
Subs Not Used: Conor Winn, Conor Melody, Aaron Conway,
Booked: Alex Byrne(91)
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Sean Hoare, Sean Gannon, Niclas Vemmelund, Shane Grimes; Stephen O’Donnell, Michael Duffy, Robbie Benson(Conor Clifford 81), John Mountney(Patrick McEleney 63), Jamie McGrath; Thomas Stewart(David McMillan 71).
Subs Not Used: Gary Rogers, Brian Gartland, Chris Shelds, Steven Kinsella
Booked: Conor Clifford (84)
Referee: Ray Matthews
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Stephen O’Donnell