Pentony strike gets U19s back on track as they win in Donegal

Dundalk Youths' James Renaghan gets this ball away from Tolka Rovers' Jamie Cussen in the DDSL U18 Super League game at Oriel Park
Dundalk U19 boss Martin Connolly praised his side’s character after they came out on top against Fanad United on Saturday in Donegal.

Dundalk U19 boss Martin Connolly praised his side’s character after they came out on top against Fanad United on Saturday in Donegal.

A first half strike from Craig Pentony was enough for victory and Connolly was happy to see his side see the game out from a winning position, something they have not managed to do at times this year.

“It was a great battling performance in what was really tough conditions. And it was good to bounce back after we didn’t really perform in the Cup against Drogheda,” Connolly said. “It is disappointing that the only three games we lost this year we have taken the lead in too so we were very mindful of that this time.

“We reminded the boys of that at half time and to be fair to them they dug in deep and put in a good performance.”

After a sluggish start in which Dundalk had goalkeeper Ryan Davies to thank for pulling off two fine saves inside the opening five minutes, the visitors responded well before Pentony’s desire saw him chase down a long ball and apply the finishing touch for what would prove to be the winner.

“We started off poorly and could have been two down early but Ryan’s saves woke us up and we made some tactical changes and then credit goes to Craig for chasing down a hopeless cause. I felt that we were much better after the goal.”

Dundalk did have chances to further kill the game off with Ciaran O’Connor spurning two opportunities in the second half but Connolly remained pleased with how his side then saw the game out.

“I think we played well enough after going in front and created some chances throughout the rest of the game with Ciaran having one in the six-yard box that he should have scored and we had to make a few little changes again but we did well to get the win.”

The young Lilywhites are next up in action on Tuesday night when they take on the Irish Schools side in a friendly fixture at Oriel Park with the game kicking off at 7pm.

DUNDALK U19: Ryan Davies, Ross Gaffney, Paul Finnegan, Manuel Kaguako, Calvin Murphy, Georgie Poynton, Kevin Nolan, Dylan O’Hanlon (Caolan Reilly 65), Craig Pentony, Conor McDonald, Ciaran O’Connor.