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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson/INPHO
# All White on the Night
Hat-trick somehow eludes McMillan as Dundalk get the job done in Donegal
The striker scored twice and also saw two efforts come back off the woodwork in Ballybofey.

Finn Harps 0

Dundalk 2

‘MCMILLAN’S ON FIRE,’ sang the traveling fans as David McMillan proved crucial to Dundalk’s victory over Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

The deadly Dundalk striker was on the double as Stephen Kenny’s men avoiding slipping on the potential banana skin of a hard-working and resolute Harps.

It’s four goals in three games now for McMillan, who will feel as if he should have left with the matchball here.

It was a relatively stress-free night for the Lilywhites, who handed Harps their coats last season in emphatic fashion with a 7-0 win in Ballybofey, but the resilient Donegal men were in no mood to be on the receiving end of another hiding.

They held on for as long as they could but the resistance broke in the 34th minute with a goal that will have had Harps manager Ollie Horgan tearing his hair out.

David McMillan celebrates scoring the first goal Morgan Treacy; ©INPHO / Morgan Treacy/INPHO McMillan, seen here scoring against Drogheda United recently, was in excellent form once again for the champions. Morgan Treacy; ©INPHO / Morgan Treacy/INPHO / Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Niclas Vemmelund’s cross was majestic and McMillan clipped in well from close range, stretching somewhat awkwardly to steer past Ciaran Gallagher.

The win was effectively sealed in the 54th minute when McMillan headed beyond Gallagher from Conor Clifford’s centre.

Harps clung onto their lot in a commendable manner early on but it always felt like a matter of time until a side of Dundalk’s panache took the lead.

Ciaran Coll, the Harps captain, cleared from underneath his own crossbar after a McMillan header hit the post, while the attacker had also been denied by the crossbar in the first half.

Michael Duffy was put through by Dane Massey soon after but, with Gallagher well off his line, the former Derry winger saw his shot bounce wide with McMillan arriving a fraction too late and missing the hat-trick.

Clifford clipped a free kick just wide as Dundalk went in search of a third, while Harps were incensed when they claimed Sean Hoare handled as he landed on the ground, only for him to be awarded a free-kick.

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Coll stung a decent shot at Gary Rogers late on, but the Dundalk ‘keeper held on, as did his team-mates.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Ethan Boyle, Damien McNulty, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll, Gareth Harkin; Caolan McAleer, Barry Molloy (Michael Funston 76), Jonny Bonner (BJ Banda 82); Paddy McCourt (Eddie Dsane 68); Sean Houston.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers; Niclas Vemmelund, Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland, Dane Massey; Jamie McGrath, Conor Clifford, Chris Shields (Stephen O’Donnell 84), Michael Duffy; Thomas Stewart (John Mountney 86), David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff 87).

Referee: Paul Tuite.