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County Lose to Dundalk

Dundalk stunned Kildare County on Saturday evening with a 92nd minute winner. Kildare had fought back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 but Dundalk snatched the victory just when it seemed Kildare would go on to win.

Kildare can rightfully feel agreived as for long times they had Dundalk well and truly on the backfoot but an inability to take their chances meant that they were never able to put Dundalk away.

Kildare started the game on top and had a great chance to take the lead when James O'Callaghan had a 25 yard free kick which was charged down and Cathal O'Connor volleyed the rebound just over the bar.

At this stage Kildare had settled nicely into the game and were on top but they were stunned when, in the 21st minute, Dundalk were awarded a free following a Damian Maher foul. Robbie Brunton swung the ball into the box where Donal Broughan caught the home defence napping and he was able to toe poke the ball past Danny O'Leary.

After this body blow Kildare fell asleep and they found themselves two goals down within a minute. As Kildare pushed out to play the offside David Ward, whose pace caused Kildare trouble all day, was left in acres of space, he crossed to the back post where Gary Haylock came charging in to power a header home. This lack of concentration for three minutes would cost Kildare dear as they took control of game for the rest of the match.

David Ward was the one player who looked like causing Kildare problems especially with one 60 yard run but he could only shoot wide following some great work. At the other end Keith O'Connor was playing well and it was a foul on him that gave Alan Kelly an opportunity from a free kick, but he curled his free kick just over the bar. Cathal O'Connor was struggling to make the impact that he had in recent weeks as Kildare too often relied on the long ball, but he was showing some nice touches when he was able to get on the ball.

Kildare got back into the game just before half time when an Alan Kelly corner was knocked down by Ben Whelehan and John Ryan was able to squeeze the ball under Mick Demspey in the Dundalk goal. Amazingly Kildare almost copied Dundalk by gettin two goals in a minute, John Ryan and Keith O'Connor linked up well to get the ball out wide to Ray Scully who was fouled. James O'Callaghan struck the resulting free kick and Dempsey produced an amazing save.

Dermot Keely obviously had strong words for the Kildare team at half time as Kildare flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half. In the 56th minute Keith O'Connor should have scored when, following some sizzling wing play by Ray Scully, he headed wide when it looked easier to score.

Although Kildare were on top Dundalk looked dangerous on the break, especially the lively Martin Reilly. Kildare got the equaliser they richly deserved when Ray Scully set substitute Philly Gorman free, Keith O'Connor was able to distract two defenders and Cathal O'Connor was able to sneak in at the back post to produce a very cool finish from Gorman's cross.

At this stage there looked like being only one winner and Kildare went close on several occasions with Scully, Gorman and O'Connor all going close. Kildare should have won the game for Kildare when in the last minute he dispossed Broughan and burst through on goal. With Gorman supporting him, a goal looked a certainty but O'Connor got caught in two minds whether to pass to Gorman or shoot himself and Broughan was able to get back to make the block.

As the game entered injury time Kildare were settling for a point but feeling a little agreived as they could have won the game, however Dundalk broke Kildare hearts when substitute Cormac Malone burst through the Kildare defence and buried the ball past O'Leary with almost the last kick of the game.

Kildare: O'Leary, Brennan, O'Callahan, Maher (Dunne 57), Dykes, Whelehan, C O'Connor, Scully, Ryan, (Gorman 63), K O'Connor, Kelly (Rogers 46). Subs not used: Murphy, Darker.

Dundalk: Dempsey, Chris Malone, Brunton, Broughan, McCrystal, Kavanagh, Hoey (Flanagan 70), Reilly (Cormac Malone 70), Haylock, Lawless, Ward. Subs not used: Webb, Melvin, Connolly.


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