Dundalk back on top of Premier Duivision
Struggling Bray Wanderers thumped 5-1 at Oriel Park
Patrick Hoban scored twice as Dundalk roared back to the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division by beating Bray Wanderers 5-1 at Oriel Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Any notions that Dundalk feel the strain of their European exertions were wiped away when Richie Towell put the home side in front with just 130 seconds on the clock.
A Bray Wanderers free-kick broke down, allowing Dundalk to drive forward in numbers. Towell’s pass from the left set Kurtis Byrne up for a strike at goal and when Shane Redmond palmed his effort out to the right, the former Celtic midfielder was on hand to finish from a narrow angle.
Relentless D undalk pressure evntually told on 24 minutes when after Jake Kelly and Joe Gorman made a mess of dealing with Hoban’s cross and Redmond could only push Meenan’s piledriver out, Byrne prodded home .
The Lilywhites controlled the second half and Hoban added a third before Byrne took his tally to nine in all competitions with a fabulous strike in the 62nd minute.
Ishmahil Akinade pulled one back for Bray in the 82nd minute but Hoban finishing off a well worked move a minute later for the home side.
The result moves Dundalk three points clear of Cork City with the sides due to meet at Turner’s Cross this Friday.
DUNDALK: Cherrie; Gannon, Boyle, Gartland, Massey; Higgins, Towell; Meenan (Meenan 81), Byrne (McMillan 86), Horgan (McDermott 63); Hoban. BRAY WANDERERS: Redmond; Barker, O’Connor, Mitchell, Gorman; Akinade, Cassidy (Coombes 76), Zambra, G Kelly (McGill 69), J Kelly; Hughes (O’Neill 65). Referee: Tom Connolly.