14 Aug 2022

Improved attacking quality needed as Dundalk FC head to Inchicore

Improved attacking quality needed as Dundalk FC head to Inchicore

Robbie Benson of Dundalk in action against Andrew Quinn of Drogheda United. (Pic: Sportsfile)

Dundalk FC midfielder Robbie Benson says The Lilywhites need to find a way to break teams down if they are to become SSE Airtricity League title challengers any time soon.

All three of Dundalk’s defeats this season have happened on the road – the latest of which came at Head in the Game Park on Friday against neighbours Drogheda United.

Dundalk dominated possession on the night but couldn’t fashion a leveller after Dean Williams scored what turned out to be the winner after only 53 seconds were played.

“It’s a tough place to come,” Benson told The Democrat afterwards. “They’ve had a lot of good results here at home. I don’t think we were terrible, but the quality in the final third to break them down was lacking tonight and it’s something that we need to work on.

“(The early goal) doesn’t really change anything in the game, only the scoreline because the game hasn’t even settled into any sort of pattern.

“It’s hard when you go behind here. They’ve had some very good results here. We just need to move on, not dwell on it and work on our ability to break teams down. I’m sure that’ll be top priority this week for us.”

Towards the end of the first half, Benson became one of seven players to receive a yellow card throughout the evening after he fouled James Clarke right outside the penalty box.

Indeed, the Dundalk man wasn’t overly complimentary of referee Neil Doyle’s performance, criticising the Dublin official’s lack of consistency in his decision-making.

“I thought we were penalised disproportionately,” claimed Benson. “I felt we had a lot of fouls that could have been given. There was similar fouls for both teams that weren’t given the same way, but Neil Doyle is a good referee. It’s just the way it went tonight.”

Disappointment aside, Benson has been one of Dundalk’s star performers since returning to the club last December following two years with St Patrick’s Athletic – where The Lilywhites travel on Friday night for their next SSE Airtricity League fixture.

“I feel we’re all playing well as a team in general. I think I’m learning the position that (Stephen O’Donnell) wants me to play better and better. I’m staying disciplined and, in my position, I can play off Pat (Hoban) and Davy (McMillan). I have a good relationship with the two lads from playing with them for so long.

“I need to up my end product. I’m saying we weren’t good in the final third, myself included there. I want to contribute more to scoring goals, but I know, given the quality we have in the team, that we’ll find our feet sooner or later.”

Having played one game less, Dundalk possess a six-point advantage over a St Pats team that will be hoping to replace The Lilywhites in the top three and qualify for Europe.

“It’s a huge game. We have a good cushion on them now, but I’m sure they’ll feel and maybe sense a bit of vulnerability in us after losing tonight. They will be aiming to chase us down and win. We want to still cling onto Rovers, chase them down as best we can and take it game by game.

“It’s an important one for us to bounce back. It’s always important when you lose a game to see how you react. We’ve been good at that this season. We haven’t lost too many games, but when we have, we responded quite well.”

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