Dundalk 5, Derry City 0
CORK City will certainly have issues with the FAI following the association’s insistence that Dundalk hosted Derry City at Oriel Park last night.
And with both clubs making it clear that they were unhappy to play given the close proximity of their respective FAI Cup quarter-finals, it was Championship challengers Cork who will certainly feel aggrieved.
The decision of Derry boss, Peter Hutton, to make SEVEN changes from the team which defeated Sligo last Friday night will not have gone down well with Leesiders manager, John Caulfield.
Hutton, however, is only concerned with his “Candy Stripes” and he has constantly made it clear that his priority lies in next Friday night’s trip to Drogheda for that FAI Cup clash.
Stephen Kenny’s men opted to go for the jugular and they moved into the driving after just 12 seconds - in fact, straight from the kick-off.
Derry’s young defender, Shay Dunlop, making his first senior start, unfortunately played the ball straight to the feet of Kurtis Byrne who found the unmarked Darren Meenan and he gave Gallagher no chance to get Oriel Park rocking.
And the home side then doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Byrne gleefully guided Dane Massey’s low cross to the net from close range.
Shane McEleney was yellow carded for a challenge on Patrick Hoban just outside the 18 yards box and from the resultant free-kick, Dane Massey smashed the ball home for a 3-0 half-time lead.
Following the change of ends it got even worse for Derry, Dundalk making it 4-0 in the 54th minute.
Having gained possession, the lively Hoban hammered a low shot into the corner with reserve keeper, Ciaran Gallagher, given no chance.
More dodgy defending by the visitors saw them punished again when Darren Meenan’s cross found defender Brian Gartland and he headed home from six yards.
In short it could have been more but, that said, it was clear that Hutton’s eyes were focused on another Co. Louth venue and the Derry boss will not be too concerned at last night’s defeat.
Dundalk - Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (Mark Rossiter 55’), Chris Shields, Daryl Horgan (Donal McDermott 59 mins.), Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 77 mins.), Kurtis Byrne, Dane Massey, Richie Towell, Darren Meenan.
Derry: Ciaran Gallagher, Shaun Kelly, Barry Molloy, Shane McEleney, Shay Dunlop (Stephen Dooley 65 mins.), Mark Timlin, Sean Houston, Barry McNamee (Patrick McEleney 72 mins.), Joshua Tracey, Nathan Boyle, Ryan Curran.
Referee: Mr. Tomas Connolly (Dublin).