Dundalk left it late to record victory over UCD as goals from Tiarnan Mulvenna and John Dillon extended the Students' losing streak
UCD remain rooted to the bottom of the Airtricity League despite a much-improved performance over Dundalk. In a match played on a pitch that did incredibly well to withstand the previous couple day’s rainfall in the capital, the Students paid for poor finishing in both the first in the second half as their northern visitors finally managed to break down their resistance late on with goals from Tiarnan Mulvenna and Gary Burke.
Having shipped nine goals in their last two games, a much more composed start from the Students was desperately needed. With both sides cagey in the opening exchanges, UCD appeared content just to keep possession of the ball early on. However, chances for the students were to come, only for Sean Russell, Dinnny Corcoran and David McMillan to be found guilty of squandering from decent positions.
With chances begging, Dundalk began to find a rhythm in the game, but even they themselves struggled to create any decent opportunities. Both sides continued to push forward in search of an opening goal in an equally contested affair; both sides struggled to find that killer ball - with Dundalk perhaps annoyed with themselves for not punishing UCD’s poor finishing earlier on.
Dundalk began the second half on top. As it was in the first, the Students made sure it wasn’t going to be a one-sided affair. Unfortunately for Stephen Kenny, Martin Russell and a paltry crowd of 241 spectators, the match was to return to frustrating game of ping-pong in the midfield – and any time Dundalk managed to get forward, UCD were to be able to deal with most attacks comfortably. As the half wore on, the away side appeared to run out of ideas, and in turn, UCD threatened themselves to punish their visitors.
But, try as they may, it just wasn’t to happen for UCD, and they were to duly pay as their previous wastefulness was to be finally punished – with substitute Tiarnan Mulvenna controlling a long ball from midfield to cut back inside and place the ball into the far corner, deflating the UCD Bowl in the process. The Students heads were to drop, and moments later, John Dillon struck home from the edge of the area. The Students continued to fight for pride until the very end – with Gareth Matthews' excellent free kick on the edge of stoppage time perhaps the least they deserved.
UCD remain rooted to the bottom of the table, after slumping to their fourth defeat of the season.