Four goals in 10 minutes midway through the second half saw Dundalk comfortably see off Longford Town at Oriel Park to book their place in the next round of the FAI Cup.


Stephen O'Donnell’s side took their time to find the breakthrough having dominated from the off, but two goals from Greg Sloggett either side of strikes from Patrick Hoban and Joe Adams saw them run out comfortable and deserving winners.

Gary Cronin’s men did well to frustrate their opponents until the 58th minute but then the floodgates opened with the First Division outfit failing to register a shot throughout.

Having beaten Cronin’s Bray 6-0 in the opening round on the way to Cup glory with St Pat’s last season, O’Donnell will be hoping for a similar omen with the Co Louth side this year.

The home side dominated from the off and could have replicated their dream start from their 3-0 win over Finn Harps the previous week when Steven Bradley slipped Sloggett in but the midfielder pulled his effort to the left and wide.

Hoban then had a series of chances, heading wide from Keith Ward’s cross on 18 minutes before volley over five minutes later after Paul Doyle’s initial effort had been blocked.

Bradley then went close on 27 minutes when he cut in off the right onto his left foot but his attempt at finding the bottom left hand corner was blocked by Mick McDonnell.

Norwegian debutant Runar Hauge, signed on loan from Hibernian on Wednesday, then had a go from range but it was straight at Luke Dennison.

After Ward turned a cross from Hauge agonisingly wide moments later, the American keeper was called into action for just the second time in the 40th minute when he pushed a long range drive from Darragh Leahy away.

The midlanders were left breathing a sigh of relief on the stroke of half-time though when Bradley headed against the post after Andy Boyle had failed to make clean contact with Ward’s corner.

Ward would then go close himself with an effort from Hoban’s cross that was turned around the post on the restart.

Hoban then missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock when Doyle’s corner somehow found its way through to him on 52 minutes but the striker couldn’t hit the target as his effort flashed to the right and wide.

Bradley then teased the Longford defence again by cutting in off the right past four players only to see his effort blocked in the end by Aaron Robinson.

When the ball was worked back into the box by Lewis Macari it looked destined for substitute Joe Adams to head home but the Welsh U21 international somehow failed to hit the target while unmarked.

Adams would play a role in breaking the deadlock on 58 minutes though, forcing a fine stop from Dennison with Sloggett on hand to turn in the rebound.

Dundalk were then unlucky not to double their lead two minutes later when Lewis Macari’s cross picked out Hoban who saw his glancing header clip the outside of the post and go wide.

The pair would combine for the second a minute later on 61 minute though with Hoban heading in from close range from a brilliant Macari cross.

Adams then got in on the act for what was his first Dundalk goal with a third two minutes later as he got a shot away from 25 yards out which squirmed past Dennison.

Joe Adams (left) celebrating scoring Dundalk's third goal

After Dennison had denied Hoban, the Lilywhites then made it 4-0 on 68 minutes when Ryan O’Kane broke on the endline to tee up Sloggett for a sample tap-in for his second.

Longford had their keeper to thank for keeping the scoreline down after that as he made saves from David McMillan, John Martin and Ryan O’Kane.

The visitors did have a half chance of a consolation six minutes from the end when Karl Chambers set Darren Clarke away but the substitute’s heavy touch meant Nathan Shepperd was able to gather with ease.

Dundalk: Nathan Shepperd; Lewis Macari (John Mountney 70), Sam Bone, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Greg Sloggett (John Martin 70), Paul Doyle; Steven Bradley, Keith Ward (Joe Adams 54), Runar Hauge (Ryan O'Kane 54); Patrick Hoban (McMillan 70).

Longford Town: Luke Dennison; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Michael Barker, Dylan Barnett (Ben Lynch 75); Dean McMenamy, Aaron Robinson (Matthew O’Brien 75); Brandon McCann (Karl Chambers 56), Sam Verdon (Adam Verdon 61), Kian Corbally; Jordan Adeyemo (Darren Clarke 61).

Referee: Alan Patchell (Dublin).