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Rampant Dundalk crush Wexford to book EA Sports final spot

Updated: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 13:07 | Comments

David McMillan bagged a hat-trick for Dundalk at Oriel Park
David McMillan bagged a hat-trick for Dundalk at Oriel Park

Dundalk 5-0 Wexford Youths

Dundalk booked their place in the EA Sports Cup final - the club's first in 19 years - with a comprehensive win over Wexford Youths at Oriel Park.

Mark Griffin and Keith Ward gave Dundalk a 2-0 half-time cushion before a David McMillan hat-trick added the gloss after the break. 

Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny rang the changes for the visit of the First Division side and none of the players who started in the 2-1 win over Cork City in Turner's Cross on Friday night were named in his starting XI.

There were still plenty of familiar names on show, with Mark Rossiter, Ruaidhri Higgins, Keith Ward and David McMillan all included alongside youngsters such as Ciaran O'Connor and Manny Kaguako.

As expected, Dundalk controlled the opening stages, although Wexford Youths goalkeeper Graham Doyle was rarely troubled.

Marc Griffin's incisive pass almost opened Wexford up after 11 minutes, but the ball had too much pace for Ward to collect. 

Simon Kelly then headed wide from a Higgins corner seven minutes later.

Donal McDermott buzzed with intent before limping off with a knee injury after half an hour. Prior to that, he showed neat footwork to get away from two Wexford Youths players, but his dipping volley from 18-yards went over the top.

The deadlock was broken after 24 minutes. 

Higgins, a five-time winner of this competition with Derry City, whipped in a vicious corner from the left and Griffin found himself unmarked on the corner of the six-yard box to head home his first goal of the season.

Shane Keegan's men could have restored parity straight from the kick-off. 

Shane Nolan picked out Danny Furlong in the Dundalk penalty area but he could only shoot wide of Gabriel Sava's goal.

Nolan's vision was matched at the other end nine minutes later when Ward's killer reverse pass left Nolan bewildered but John Mountney - with just Doyle to beat - shot wide of the target.

McMillan squandered a glorious chance to make it 2-0 in the 41st minute, heading over after an almost identical corner from Higgins that led to the first goal.

The hosts had one foot in the final at half-time after scoring a second before the break.

Higgins was again involved, finding Keith Ward with a quick free-kick and the attacker clipped a beautiful 20-yard effort over the head of Doyle.

Wexford were denied a way back into the tie when Gabriel Sava made a fantastic double save to deny Danny Furlong and Ben Ryan in the 65th minute.

McMillan then saw a fierce drive beaten away by Doyle two minutes later after being picked out by another Ward pass.

And the duo combined again with 13 minutes to play for McMillan to cut inside Stephen Last and beat Doyle for a well-deserved goal.

John Mountney scored the fourth, before McMillan rounded off another impressive display by thundering home the fifth in stoppage-time. 

Dundalk: Sava; O'Connor (Poynton 80), Rossiter, Kelly (Finnegan 68), Kaguako; Ward, Higgins; Mountney, McDermott (McDonald 30), Griffin; McMillan,.

Wexford Youths: G Doyle; Shortt (Browne 80), Last, Cantwell, Nolan; Cox (B Doyle 88), Dunne, Wall, Molloy; Furlong, Ryan.

Referee: Robert Harvey.

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