Airtricity League leaders Dundalk saw off the challenge of Wexford Youths with ease at Oriel Park. Stephen Kenny’s men recorded a 5-0 victory and advanced to the EA Sports Cup final where they’ll face the winners of Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians on September 20th.
The home side took the lead in the 24th minute through Mark Griffin; the former Derry City striker found himself completely unmarked at the back post and got his head firmly on the end of Ruaidhri Higgins’ corner and guided the ball into the top corner of the net.
Dundalk completely dominated proceedings and their second goals was a moment of magic from Keith Ward. The winger picked the ball up in a good position outside the Wexford box and turned and launched an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Graham Doyle’s goal. A goal of real quality from Ward, who is endeavouring to work his way back into Stephen Kenny’s first eleven following a lengthy absence through injury.
Wexford came out for the second half with a bit more about them; enjoying a spell of dominance over the home side, but ultimately failing to convert possession into chances.
A large part of the second half was rather disjointed, with neither team able to put together a meaningful passage of play.
As the final 20 minutes approached, Gabriel Sava had to be at his best to make a double save to deny Furlong and Molloy.
Dundalk reasserted their dominance in the final 20 minutes, putting the result beyond doubt with goals from David McMillan and John Mountney.
David McMillan added a fifth with the last kick of the game, rounding off a good all round display by Dundalk and sending the home fans home having witnessed yet another Lilywhite goal fest.
In truth, the home side never really needed to get out of second gear, with the Youths creating only a couple of chances of note, although Stephen Kenny will be very happy with certain individual performances, Keith Ward and Manuel Kaguako putting in particularly impressive displays.
Dundalk: Gabriel Sava; Manuel Kaguako, Simon Kelly (Paul Finnegan, 71), Mark Rossiter, Ciaran O’Connor (George Poynton, 83); Keith Ward, Ruaidhri Higgins, John Mountney, Donal McDermott (Conor McDonald, 32); Mark Griffin, David McMillan.
Subs not used: Kurtis Byrne, Darren Meenan, Anton Reilly, Peter Cherrie.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig Shortt (CJ Browne, 83), Shane Nolan, Stephen Last, Killian Cantwell; Shane Dunne, Eric Molloy, Craig Wall, Adam Cox (Bryan Doyle, 90); Danny Furlong, Ben Ryan.
Subs not used: Ryan Delaney, Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Danny Neikis.
Booked: Shane Dunne
Referee: Robert Harvey
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Manuel Kaguako