Another Friday night of Airtricity League action which saw a flurry of goals as last season’s top two picked up strong victories and high-flying Bohs conceded for the first time.
Dundalk hammered Waterford by 4-0, Cork City won a seven-goal thriller at Finn Harps while Rovers took a two-point lead over Bohs thanks to a statement win over St Pat’s.
With that in mind let’s take a look at what we learned from Friday night’s Airtricity League action.
Gearoid Morrissey Sure Can Hit A Ball
Finding the net has been difficult for John Caulfield’s side this season. Before last night they had only scored twice in their first four games, picking up just one win.
When Finn Harps’ Caolon McAleer raced through the Cork defence to open the scoring early on a wet and windy night in Ballbofey, Caulfield must have been contemplating whether it would be one of those nights.
Obviously, no one told midfielder Gearoid Morrissey.
Looking like they would be heading into the break 2-1 down, the Leesiders pulled an equaliser out of nothing as the 27-year-old scored a sure-fire contender for goal of the season come the end of the campaign.
The ball came to Morrissey on the edge of the box and the midfielder controlled it, flicked it up over the leg of the Harps defender and unleashed a rasping volley which sailed into the back of the net.
Oh Gearoid Morrissey… Stick the fry on and savour this outrageous goal from the @CorkCityFC man against @FinnHarpss last night which helped John Caulfield's men to edge a seven-goal thriller. Stunning #RTEsoccer pic.twitter.com/fiGOkBKDGT
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) March 9, 2019
The second half saw the Leesiders take control and Morrissey struck again, this time it was a looping effort from 25 or so yards out as Caulfield’s men picked up a vital victory.
Cork may have lost the goals of Kieran Sadlier, but Morrissey has already scored three times this campaign and looks as though he may step up in the now Doncaster man’s absence.
At Long Last, The Champs Are Finally Here
Well, that’s more like it from Dundalk.
Despite missing key figures in Michael Duffy and Chris Shields, in addition to their already weakened side, Dundalk put on an outstanding performance as they picked up just their second win of the season against Waterford.
This felt like the first time in the campaign everything truly clicked for Vinnie Perth’s men and when Pat Hoban opened the scoring, in albeit controversial fashion, in the eighth minute, it was an uphill battle from there for Waterford.
Last season’s champions had made some eye-catching additions during the off-season and one who is proving to be a huge hit in this division is former Watford midfielder, Sean Murray.
On Friday night at Oriel Park, he was the standout performer and found himself at the heart of everything good that the Lilywhite’s produced, scoring an excellent goal to double Dundalk’s lead in the first half.
The 4-0 win will surely fill the reigning champions with confidence as they look to bounce back from a somewhat rocky start to the season.
They face a tough trip to Derry City next week but will be buoyed by last night’s victory as they travel to the Brandywell.
Bohs Slip Up As Rovers Pick Up Vital Win
Another draw for Bohemians against Derry City as they conceded for the first time this season in the league.
In contrast, their rivals Shamrock Rovers picked up their second win in less than a week as they defeated a strong St Pat’s outfit at Richmond Park.
Since beating Rovers at the end of February, Bohs have failed to pick up a win, drawing against both Waterford and Derry City at Dalymount Park, two games Keith Long will have certainly been looking for six points from.
Rovers, have drawn against last season’s champions Dundalk and defeated Finn Harps and St Pat’s since that loss to their Dublin rivals, as they sit two points clear of Bohemians, having played one more game.
Bohs will be disappointed with another draw, but their start to the season has unquestionably been excellent and their overall performances and crucially their solid defence is an indication that they may just stay the course this campaign.
Stephen Bradley’s side look to be on an uphill trajectory, and the win over St Pat’s away from home is certainly a statement victory even this early in the campaign.
Here’s hoping they match each other blow for blow for the remainder of the season.