Dundalk Youths sealed their safe passage to the fifth round of the Leinster Youths Cup with a 4-2 win over Willow Park of Athlone thanks to two late strikes after they had twice been pegged back.
It was the Lilywhites who were dominant throughout the first half and made the pressure tell when Dylan O’Hanlon finished well with his left foot 10 minutes before half time but Willow levelled with a clinical counter at the start of the second half after re-emerging from the dressing rooms a revitalised side.
The alert Cody Magill then put Dundalk back in front on 60 minutes from the penalty spot and minutes later had a chance to extend that lead again from a spot kick but this time his scoring touch deserted him from 12 yards and the lead remained a slender one.
That could have proved fatal to their hopes after a long-range strike squirmed past Fergal Sheeky in the Lilywhites’ goal to equalise again but Dundalk finished strongly with a late rally that saw them deservedly come out on top.
They got themselves back in front with a fine strike from Padraig McGowan after he found room to get his shot away with 10 minutes left before Anto Reilly made sure of the victory two minutes from time.
The defender popped up at the back post from a Dundalk corner to deliver a superb diving header, sending his side safely through to round five.
DUNDALK YOUTHS: Fergal Sheeky; Robbie Macken, Fearghal McDonald, Conor McCoy, Anton Reilly; Vlad Evseev, James Renaghan, Cody Magill, Padraig McGowan; Aaron Boyle, Dylan O’Hanlon (Calvin Murphy 70).