Dundalk 8 Bray Wanderers 1: Dundalk hit Bray Wanderers for eight at Oriel Park yesterday to end the first series of matches in style with their unbeaten record firmly intact.
Stephen Kenny’s side came into the game on the back of their superb 2-1 win away to Cork City 10 days earlier and the confidence they gained from that result was evident right from the off.
The champions got off to a dream start when they hit the front after just 77 seconds with a goal-of-the-season contender from Richie Towell.
The midfielder met Daryl Horgan’s cross-field pass from left to right first time on the volley to send the ball to the bottom left-hand corner of the net for his 10th goal in his last seven outings.
Brian Gartland then doubled the home side’s advantage with a header from a Darren Meenan corner on nine minutes but Bray were thrown a lifeline 11 minutes later when Dane Massey was adjudged to have fouled Michael Barker inside the area.
David Cassidy dispatched the spot kick past Gary Rogers to make it 2-1.
Within three minutes Kenny’s side had restored their two-goal cushion when captain Andy Boyle headed home another Meenan corner.
Gartland then made it four on the stroke of half-time when he bundled home another Meenan delivery at the back post, with Bray’s afternoon going from bad to worse as keeper Stephen McGuinness had to be replaced, having taken a knock in the crowded goalmouth.
The Louth men refused to take their foot off the gas in the second half with Horgan adding a fifth in the 57th minute with a cool finish past Brian Kane after Ronan Finn had robbed Cassidy of possession to tee him up.
Massey then made it six in the 70th minute when he steered in another Meenan corner before Finn added a seventh in the 81st minute when he latched onto a John Mountney lay off to round Kane and slide to an empty net.
Man of the match Horgan then completed the rout five minutes from time with a stunning finish to the top right hand corner of the net.
Rogers; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Meenan, Shields (O’Donnell 54), Towell (Byrne 66), Horgan; Finn, McMillan (Mountney 61).
McGuinness (Kane 45); Barker, Mitchell, Douglas, McGlynn; Onwubiko (Scully 80), McEvoy, McNally,t Cassidy, McDonagh (O’Reilly HT); Lyons.
D Tomney (Dublin).
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