TREATY United were narrowly beaten by Dundalk in the FAI Cup at the Markets Field on Sunday afternoon following extra-time.
It was a valiant display from the home side who fell to a Patrick McEleney goal in the first half of extra-time sent Vinny Perth’s men through to the next round.
In the early stages, Dundalk were dominant in possession but looked most dangerous from set-pieces as both Daragh Leahy and Dave McMillan headed over from dangerous corner deliveries. Korean winger Han Jeongwoo was lively throughout and posed a lot of problems for the newly converted right-back Ed McCarthy in the firs period. Han forced a brilliant save from Tadgh Ryan from a tight angle on the quarter-hour.
Joel Coustrain returned to the starting line-up for Treaty and created his side’s first chance of the game when he cut inside Leahy and Alessio Abibi pushed his effort away. The winger was then sacrificed in a tactical switch by manager Tommy Barrett as we approached half-time as he was replaced by Matt Keane in order to provide more defensive aid to McCarthy.
Despite a quiet first half, winger Daniel Kelly’s piledriver travelled just wide as referee Neil Doyle readied to blow the half-time whistle.
Early in the second period, Derry bound Patrick McEleney was introduced to the fray and it made a big difference to the Lilywhites. Within 5 minutes, the attacking midfielder forces a save from Ryan. In the same passage of play, McMillian headed straight at the Treaty netminder having found himself in acres of room.
Treaty had resolutely withheld Dundalk attacks throughout but had retreated deep into their own half with 20 minutes remaining and a lucky bounce of the ball at the edge of the box fell to Kelly who drove into the area before being denied by Ryan.
Treaty have introduced William Armshaw to great effect over the last couple of months and the former St. Michaels man blazed over the crossbar from the edge of the area. With five minutes remaining, McEleney continued his crusade to find the opener but he was once again thwarted by Ryan.
At the beginning of extra-time, substitute Joe Collins picked up possession and struck the ball low from distance which Abibi had to push to safety. Unfortunately, Treaty’s stubborn resistance was broken when Dave McMillan drove at the home defence who failed to sufficiently clear the danger and McEleney was quickest to react to place the ball beyond the helpless Ryan.
Moments later, substitute Alan Murphy had a glorious chance to equalise for the hosts but his right-footed effort flew over the bar as Dundalk failed to clear.
On a positive day for the club in their first appearance in the FAI Cup, there was one negative as Anthony O’Donnell received a straight red card for a foul on Han Jeongwoo. It is the Corkman’s second red card of the season and he will now miss an important upcoming section of the league.
Treaty will now turn their attention to the league campaign where they face Athlone Town at Lissywoolen on Friday night.
Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan, Ed McCarthy, Anthony O’Donnell, Mark Walsh, Marc Ludden, Jack Lynch (Callum McNamara), Clyde O’Connell (Joe Collins), Sean McSweeney (Alan Murphy), Joel Coustrain (Matt Keane, Steven Christopher (William Armshaw), Kieran Hanlon (Matt McKevitt)
Dundalk: Alessio Abibi, Ravius Jurkovskis (Sonny Nateshad), Andy Boyle, Cameron Dummigan, Daragh Leahy, Sam Stanton (Patrick McEleney), Sean Murray (Will Patching), Greg Sloggatt, Daniel Kelly (Val Adedokun), Han Jeongwoo, Dave McMillan