DFC | O’Donnell makes welcome return as Dundalk FC ease to win over Warrenpoint

Friendly | Dundalk FC 4–0 Warrenpoint Town

Stephen O’Donnell made his first appearance of the campaign in Dundalk’s friendly win over Warrenpoint Town at Oriel Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Lilywhites skipper missed the first three league games with a calf injury but he returned to play 75 minutes in a comfortable victory over the Danske Bank Premiership side in Stephen McDonnell’s first game at the helm.

With Friday night’s fixture against Derry City falling victim to the weather, Stephen Kenny used the game as an opportunity to give members of his squad some game time ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash with Cork City.

None of the players who started the 8–0 win over Limerick on Tuesday night were on show but there was a welcome return for centre-halves Brian Gartland and Sean Hoare while Sam Byrne was given a start on the left of a three-man attack.

Dundalk looked comfortable throughout and went in 2–0 up at the break thanks to goals from Karolis Chvedukas and Krisztian Adorjan.

The Lithuanian added to his strike in the rout over Limerick by placing a fine header past Johnny Power in the Warrenpoint goal close to the half hour. Jamie McGrath picked the pocket of Danny Wallace on the left and clipped an inch perfect ball into the penalty area for the midfielder to guide home.

Power made a number of fine stops, denying Byrne and Marco Tagbajumi but he was helpless to prevent goal number two, Adorjan rolling the ball home after some fine play on the right by Georgie Poynton.

The visitors named former Dundalk underage trio Anton Reilly, Deane Watters and Emmet Hughes in their starting XI and a fourth ex-Lilywhite, goalkeeper Berat Türker, appeared for the second-half.

The German born netminder had a spell at Oriel Park in 2013 but his first real involvement was picking the ball out of the net after Byrne showed good feet to skip around him and slide the ball home from a tight angle.

Tagbajumi bagged his first goal for the club shortly after, hitting the target from close-range after more good approach play by Poynton on the right before O’Donnell and Hoare departed before the full-time whistle with valuable game time under their belt.

DUNDALK FC: Gabriel Sava; Georgie Poynton, Sean Hoare (Adam Finnegan 85), Brian Gartland, Dean Jarvis; Karolis Chvedukas, Stephen O’Donnell (Karl Fitzsimmons 75); Jamie McGrath, Krisztian Adorjan, Sam Byrne; Marco Tagbajumi.

WARRENPOINT TOWN: Johnny Power, Jordan Dane, Stephen Moan, Anton Reilly, Danny Wallace, Emmet Hughes, Conall McGuinness, Deane Watters, Andy Fox, Alan Davidson, Darius Roohie. Subs used: James McGowan, Marcus Greenfield, Berat Turker.

REFEREE: Colin Halligan.

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