Dundalk continued their pre-season preparations with a straightforward win against Finn Harps at Oriel Park on Sunday afternoon.
A scrappy encounter was decided by a Peter Thomas header midway through the second half. Both teams cancelled eachother out in the opening stages before the first chance of the game fell to the visitors. Dundalk's Derek Foran got caught in possession and the ball fell to visiting captain Kevin McHugh who blazed over the bar.
It wasn't until the 27th minute until either side had any real opportunity and it was created by the home side. Michael Rafter picked a loose ball up on the halfway line. After turning, he released young Gary Shanahan through on goal. His shot brought a good save out of visiting goalkeeper Ciarán Gallagher who gathered at the second attempt. Dundalk retained the majority of possession before the interval.
The first chance of the second half fell to the Lilywhites on 52 minutes when they won a free-kick on the left hand side. With his first touch sub Mark Griffin almost broke the deadlock with a beautifully struck shot which hit the crossbar. It wasn't long though until the opening goal was scored. The impressive Shanahan, got free in the box and forced a corner for Dundalk with 25 minutes remaining. From the corner, Dan Cunningham's deep cross was headed back across goal by captain Liam Burns where under 19 player Thomas headed home.
Dundalk settled after the goal and retained possession confidently without much challenge from Harps. The visitors did have one chance to equalise with 15 minutes to go, when the Lilywhites failed to clear and Barry O'Mahony shot wide from 18 yards. The game played out like a typical pre-season friendly with both sides accepting the result as Dundalk claimed their fourth win in five pre-season matches.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie (Ger Hanley, HT); Derek Foran (Mark Griffin, 53), Liam Burns, Hernany Macedo (Luke Danville, HT), Dan Cunningham; Paul Walsh, Stephen McDonnell (Peter Thomas, HT), John Mountney (Chris Shields 79), Robert Waters; Gary Shanahan, Michael Rafter.
Unused Subs: None.
Finn Harps: Ciarán Gallagher (Rory Kelly, 66); James Doherty (Aaron O’Hagan, 54), Ciarán Greene, Thomas McMonagle (Eamon Gallagher, 72), Keith Cowan; Hugh Carlin, Adam Clarke, Thomas Bonner (Barry O’Mahoney, HT), Ciaran Coll (Darragh healy, HT); Stephen O’Donnell (Blain Curtis, 35), Kevin McHugh.
Unused Subs: None.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).
Attendance: 250 (estimate)
extratime.ie man of the match. Gary Shanahan. He looked dangerous all
afternoon and was unlucky not to score.