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.