Massey first again
Dane Massey got the first goal of the Vinny Perth era in Cork in the 2019 President’s Cup final. His strike on Sunday 569 days on, also from a Michael Duffy assist, was also the first of the Filippo Giovagnoli era. It was the 29th goal of his career and also came in the 29th minute. It was also his first ever goal in the FAI Cup.
Mac is back
David McMillan’s penalty for Dundalk against Cobh Ramblers on Sunday was his 75th goal for Dundalk. It was his first since scoring a brace in the FAI Cup semi-final replay against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght in October 2017. It’s his 10th in the FAI Cup and his first goal of 2020. His last goal was on December 28th 2019 for Falkirk in a 1-1 draw away to Airdrieonians FC at Penny Cars Stadium. The 31-year-old was starting his first game in exactly six months and one day. He last started a game for Falkirk in their 3-2 defeat away to Clyde in Scottish League One on February 29th.
It was a double landmark appearance for Michael Duffy pm Sunday. He played game number 150 in Dundalk colours while it was the 275th appearance of his professional career. He chipped in with his fifth assist of the season for Dane Massey’s goal and his first since the restart.
Andy Boyle returned to the Dundalk side on Sunday for what was the 30th FAI Cup appearance of his career and his first since the 2016 final. It was also the 375th game of his career.
Unbeaten home record equalled
While a draw was not the way they’d have liked to do it, Friday night saw Dundalk equal a club record of 25 league games unbeaten at home. By the time they play a league match at Oriel Park again on September 11th it will have been over two years since they last lost at home in the league – a 2-1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers in August 2018. As of Friday night it was 718 days since Dundalk last lost at home. Admittedly Covid-19 has had an impact but that is more than the 616 days that their last record lasted for. On that occasion the side went 25 games unbeaten at home between losing 2-1 to Limerick on September 27th 2013 and a 2-1 defeat to Bohs on June 5th 2015. Dundalk’s record then was almost identical to now.
2013-2015: Won 21. Drew 4. For 72. Against 10. 18 clean sheets.
2018-2020: 20 wins. 5 draws. For 59. Against 14. 15 clean sheets
Friday night was Patrick McEleney’s first start since September 29th last year when he limped off against Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-final at The Showgrounds. For John Mountney, it was also a first start since November 8th when he played in the 1-1 draw with Linfield at Windsor Park. Mountney started the 200th game of his career on the night. He also limped off injured that night as Mervue Utd went on to beat Finn Harps after extra-time on March 29th 2011.
Sean Murray came off the bench after 27 minutes on Friday night for John Mountney in what was his first appearance since starting last November’s FAI Cup final defeat to Shamrock Rovers.
Sean Gannon started his 250th game for Dundalk on Friday night. Having missed the midweek FAI Cup win over Waterford, Daniel Cleary also returned to the side for what was his 75th appearance for Dundalk. He marked it with what was his eighth goal for the club in stoppage time. Meanwhile, having made his debut off the bench against Waterford FC in the FAI Cup during the week, Joshua Gatt also came in for his league debut at half-time on Friday night. Fellow substitute David McMillan also came on for Dundalk appearance number 175. It was his 50th time coming off the bench for the club.
First starts of the year
Brian Gartland started his first game for Dundalk in 2020 against Waterford FC in the FAI Cup last Tuesday. It was his 225th appearance for the club, 25 of them now coming in the FAI Cup. It had been exactly nine months since he last started a game for Dundalk when he scored against Linfield in the Union the Union Cup. It was also a first start of 2020 for Cameron Dummigan following his return from a loan spell at Crusaders. It was his 10th start for the club in total but sadly was cut short due to injury. Will Patching also made his first start for Dundalk on the night. His last start in a competitive game prior to that came on December 8th 2018 when he was part of a Notts County side who lost 2-0 at Field Mill against Mansfield Town in League Two.
Hoare on target
Sean Hoare’s goal against Waterford FC in the FAI Cup on Tuesday was his 14th career goal and ninth for Dundalk. He has now scored four times in the FAI Cup, including three for Dundalk. The Lilywhites have won every time he has scored in a game.
Worst start since 2013
13 points from seven games is Dundalk’s worst start to a season since 2013 when they had 12 after the same number of matches.
Rare early double concession
It is two years since Dundalk last fell 2-0 behind so early in a game. That came in August 2018 when they were 2-0 down after 21 minutes, 3-0 down at half-time and lost 4-0 in the end. Dundalk haven’t come back from two down to draw a game since a 2-2 draw with Limerick FC at Oriel Park in April 2013 when goals from Dane Massey and Tiarnan Mulvenna cancelled out earlier strikes from Axel Bossekota and Shaun Kelly. It’s 11 years since they were two goals behind in a game and won. That came on August 8th 2009 when they won 4-3 against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.
Duffy a loser at Dalymount again
Michael Duffy scored for the second successive game at Dalymount Park only to find himself on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline. He was also on target in a 2-1 defeat at the Phibsborough venue last October at a time when Dundalk had already wrapped up the league title. His goal on Friday was his third of the season and his seventh career goal against the Gypsies. He has only scored more against UCD.
Both Chris Shields and Andy Boyle started the 360th games of their respective careers on Friday night. Dane Massey also started his 275th game in all competitions for Dundalk while it was league start number 175 for the club for Sean Gannon. It was also league start number 125 for Dundalk for Patrick Hoban.
80 seconds between goals
There were just 80 seconds between Dundalk taking the lead and St Patrick’s Athletic equalising. The last time Dundalk conceded so soon after scoring was the 2018 FAI Cup final when there were 124 seconds between Sean Hoare heading Dundalk in front and Kieran Sadlier equalising from the spot. The nearest it happened under Vinny Perth was last July when Patrick Hoban’s 90th minute header against Derry in the Brandywell was cancelled out by Junior at the other end in the 95th minute.
Benson returns to haunt Dundalk
Robbie Benson scored 28 goals for Dundalk but his strike on Friday night was his fourth against them. His record in those games now reads Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 1. It was his first goal for St Patrick’s Athletic and the 64th of his career to date. It was Benson’s 340th career appearance on Friday night and his first time returning to Oriel Park since scoring on his final appearance there against Linfield last November.
Hoban hits his 100th
Having scored the 100th League of Ireland goal of his career last time out against Finn Harps back in March, Patrick Hoban’s early strike was his 100th goal for Dundalk FC in all competitions. In doing so the 29-year-old became just the sixth member of the Dundalk FC 100 club tonight joining Joey Donnelly, Eddie Carroll, Joe Martin (who he’s pictured with above), Paddy Turner and Jimmy Hasty. The goals came against the following teams:
12 – Bohemians
11 – UCD
10 – Sligo Rovers, Limerick FC
9 – Bray Wanderers
8 – Shamrock Rovers
7 – Cork City, Derry City
6 – St Patrick’s Athletic
3 – Drogheda Utd, Athlone Town
2 – Waterford FC, Finn Harps, Phoenix FC, Shelbourne
1 – Qarabag, Hajduk Split, Linfield, Levadia Tallinn, Coleraine, Sheriff YC
Five ever presents in Dundalk team
Only Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Chris Shields, Michael Duffy and Patrick Hoban have started all of Dundalk’s league games this season with only the first trio having played every minute so far. Hoban and Gannon both made the 275th starts of their careers on Friday while it was just competitive career appearance number 75 for Jordan Flores
Similar points return to previous years
13 points from 6 matches is the same return Dundalk had in their 2014 and 2016 title winning seasons. Despite obvious disappointment on Friday, the Lilywhites are a point better off at this stage than they were after the same number of games in 2017, 2018 and 2019
Rare draw at home
Friday night was Dundalk’s first draw at Oriel Park in over a year since the 1-1 game with Qarabag exactly a year and a week ago. They hadn’t drawn a league game at home since May 3rd 2019 when Derry City held them 2-2 at Oriel. Friday night’s game was Vinny Perth’s 60th in charge of the club
Stefan Colovic made his home debut after being handed his first start for the club on Friday night while Nathan Oduwa also came off the bench to make his debut late on.
Hoban hits 100
Patrick Hoban’s double against Finn Harps on Friday night means he has now become just the 44th player to hit 100 league goals in the League of Ireland. The striker now has 81 league goals for Dundalk to add to the 19 he scored for Mervue Utd. He managed to reach the feat in what was just his 190th league start. His brace on Friday night were the first ever goals he had managed against Finn Harps in what was his 11th attempt, although just his fourth with Dundalk. His third minute opener was also a landmark as it was his 80th Premier Division goal and his 120th in Irish football.
Hoban’s goals came as follows:
11 – UCD
10 – Sligo Rovers
9 – Bray Wanderers, Limerick FC
8 – Bohemian FC, Cork City
7 – Derry City
6 – Shamrock Rovers, St Patrick’s Athletic
5 – Longford Town
4 – Athlone Town
3 – Monaghan Utd, Waterford FC, Drogheda Utd
2 – Salthill Devon, Finn Harps, Wexford FC
1 – Kildare County
They were scored at the following venues:
50 – Oriel Park
7 – Fahy’s Field
5 – UCD Bowl, Carlisle Grounds
4 – Athlone Town Stadium
3 – Bishopsgate, United Park, Tallaght Stadium, The Showgrounds, The Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
2 – Gortakeegan, Ferrycarrig Park, Richmond Park, Finn Park
1 – Station Road, Drom, Markets Field, Dalymount Park, RSC, Tolka Park
Best start to a season for Hoban
Patrick Hoban now has five league goals in as many games. This represents his best ever scoring start to a season. In previous years with Dundalk, he had three goals in five matches in 2018, two in five in both 2014 and 2019 and none after this stage of 2013.
Sloggett off the mark
Greg’s Sloggett’s strike seven minutes from time at Finn Park on Friday night was his first goal for Dundalk and just the 10th of his career. It was also his first goal since scoring against Dundalk for Derry City in the FAI Cup last August.
Dundalk end Harps’ impressive run
Since Dundalk won 3-0 in Donegal just before the break last June, Finn Harps had played nine matches at home, winning six, drawing two and losing one. In that time St Patrick’s Athletic, who won 2-1 in Ballybofey exactly six months ago, were the only opposition team to have scored at Finn Park before Patrick Hoban opened the scoring on Friday night. While Dundalk had been held to a 1-1 draw in Finn Park last February, the aggregate score in the two sides last 12 league meetings now reads 39-1 in the Lilywhites’ favour. Vinny Perth played the last game of his career the last time Harps beat Dundalk back in November 2007 when Marc Brolly and Stephen Parkhouse scored in a 2-0 play-off win.
400 not out for Massey
Dane Massey started the 400th game of his career against Finn Harps on Friday night. It was also league start number 75 on the night for Dundalk for Sean Hoare and league start number 50 for his centre half colleague Daniel Cleary.
Duffy on target
Michael Duffy’s strike against Finn Harps on Friday night was his 35th league goal for Dundalk, the same number scored for the club as Dundalk and Finn Harps legend Hilary Carlyle.
Stefan Colovic came off the bench to make his Dundalk debut on Friday night. In doing so he became just the second Serbian to play League of Ireland after Alex Krstić, who had two stints with Derry City in the late 1980s.
While Dundalk had lost the previous week away to Shamrock Rovers, victory in Ballybofey on Friday mean they now have 12 points out of a possible 15 at the start of the season. The only season in which Dundalk have had a better start in the Kenny/Perth era was 2015. They are now three points better off than at this stage of the last two title winning campaigns.
Long run of winning when ahead ends
Dundalk’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night was the first time in 105 league matches that the Lilywhites lost a league game from a winning position. That came almost three years ago on March 13th 2017 when Derry City came from 1-0 down to beat Stephen Kenny’s side 3-1 at McGinn Park. Ironically that was the fourth game of that season as well.
Three in three for Hoban
Patrick Hoban has now scored three goals in his last three games. It was a landmark week for the striker who played his 175th game for Dundalk against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night on the back of his 250th game in Irish football against Cork City four days earlier. Friday’s defeat to Shamrock Rovers was just the fifth time Hoban has scored in a game for Dundalk and lost and the second time it has happened against Rovers – the other being the 2014 FAI Cup 1/4 final replay. His penalty against Cork City on Monday last was Hoban’s 50th league goal for Dundalk at Oriel Park. His two goals this week saw him move level and then surpass Francie Callan in the club’s all-time scoring list.
Jordan Flores scored in back-to-back games for the first time in his career with his stunning strikes against Cork City and Shamrock Rovers this week. He now has eight goals to his name in his career with the defeat to Shamrock Rovers the first time he has scored in a game and lost. He was making just his 10th league start for Dundalk on Friday night and also his 25th appearance for the club in total. His goal against Cork City on Monday last was his first on home soil since scoring his first career goal on his first senior career start for Wigan in a 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town at the DW Stadium on September 19th 2015.
30th league win for Perth
Dundalk’s victory over Cork City on Monday last was the 30th league win of Vinny Perth’s Dundalk career. Meanwhile, the defeat to Shamrock Rovers was his fifth loss since succeeding Stephen Kenny in January 2018.
First assist from play for Kelly
Daniel Kelly’s assist for Patrick Hoban’s goal against Shamrock Rovers on Friday night was his first from play in the league for Dundalk. Prior to that all of his assists had been after being fouled for penalties, including as recently as Monday last when he was taken down to win his side a spot kick against Cork City.
100th start for Duffy
Michael Duffy started his 100th league game for Dundalk on Friday night. His league debut also came against Shamrock Rovers just over three years ago on February 24th 2017 in a 2-1 win over the Hoops at Oriel Park. His goal on the night was his 41st in Dundalk colours, putting him level with another flying winger, the late Jimmy Dainty and half back Sam Patton. It was also the 65th goal of his career.
Shields back at Tallaght as captain
Chris Shields led Dundalk out at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night exactly 7 years and 5 months on from the last time he did so – a 7-0 defeat for Dundalk in September 2012. Current Rovers captain Ronan Finn opened the scoring that night while Sean Gannon started for the Hoops. Aaron Greene was the third survivor from that night involved on Friday night. He was a 68th minute sub for Craig Sives that day.
Last Monday’s game against Cork City was a landmark night for Sean Hoare who made his 100th start for Dundalk and also the 200th start of his career. It was also league appearance number 75 for the centre half in Dundalk colours. His centre half partner on the night Daniel Cleary was also making his 50th league appearance for the club on the night.
Rogers overtakes Heary
Having moved level with Owen Heary in the league’s all-time appearance list against Shelbourne, Gary Rogers overtook him with his 566th appearance against Cork City on Monday last. Only Al Finucane on 634 games has now played more than the Dundalk goalkeeper in the league’s history.