DFC | Kenny: We deserved to win in Galway

Lilywhites slip 12 points behind Cork City

Jamie McGrath goes close to hitting the back of the Galway United net in the first-half on Friday night. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Speaking after his side’s 2–1 defeat in Galway on Friday night, Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny rejected claims that his side’s performance against the Tribesmen was well below par.

Captain Stephen O’Donnell and first team coach Vinny Perth both voiced their concerns about the Lilywhites’ display at Eamonn Deacy Park but Kenny said he was satisfied with his team’s showing and felt Dundalk deserved to win the game.

“I thought it wasn’t too bad. It was a good performance actually. We were much the better team and it was a very basic error, allowing Vinny Faherty to come from deep like that for the first goal, that we got punished for.
“On a very difficult pitch, against a team that defended as deep as they did, it was very difficult to shift the ball but we created quite a few chances and did a bit of good stuff in that regard. We should have got a second goal and we didn’t.
“It’s a game we really should have won overall, I felt. We only conceded two shots on goal and they both ended up in the back of the net. Football can be harsh.
“Galway set their stall out. They were very difficult to penetrate and they defended very well. We had some good chances that we didn’t take on the day and their goalkeeper made some good saves but haven’t not won it, we shouldn’t have lost it. That was careless from our point of view.”
Galway United matchwinner Gary Shanahan gets to grips with Dundalk FC’s Chris Shields. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Gary Shanahan’s 93rd minute winner took a big deflection off Brian Gartland to render Gary Rogers helpless while Chris Shields also had a penalty appeal waved away with the score at 1–1.

Lady luck seems to have deserted the champions at the minute with Kenny pointing out that the breaks were going Dundalk’s way last season.

“Last season I remember beating Longford 4–3 and Wexford 3–2 in the 90th odd minute and getting scrappy deflected goals to win late matches. I recall John Mountney scoring late against Derry and Drogheda.
“Things have gone against us,” he added. “I don’t think we’ve deserved to lose four games this season. I thought we might have deserved to have lost two but that’s the way it is.”
Dundalk FC captain Stephen O’Donnell gets clear of Galway United’s Kevin Devaney. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

With Cork City winning yet again, the gap at the top is a massive 12 points. Kenny, however, steered clear of title talk and suggested that everybody associated with Dundalk FC should reflect on the bigger picture.

“We’re disappointed to say the least. It’s not a position we are used to finding ourselves in,” he said.
“We won the league for the past three years in a row — that’s unprecedented in Dundalk’s history — but we are where we are at the minute. We just have to concentrate on getting ready for Shamrock Rovers next week.
“Dundalk had never won two-in-a-row so you can’t have a situation where people expect to win all the time and accept that that’s the norm and if you don’t it’s a crisis. It’s how you deal with your setbacks.
“We’re second in the league,” he added. “It’s not a bad position to be in. Most teams consider that a success. Have we gone such a way that we consider that to be a massive failure? We just need to work hard and start winning matches.”

The second series of league games begins with the trip to Tallaght on Friday night. Before that, however, Dundalk host Waterford in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup at Oriel Park on Bank Holiday Monday. Kick-off is at 5pm.

“We have to go again on Monday against Waterford in a cup quarter final. We don’t have time to dwell on it and that’s part of football,” said Kenny.

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