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'Michael Duffy lit the place up' - Dundalk boss lauds winger after man-of-the-match display

The Derry native scored one goal and had a hand in another as the Lilywhites saw off Drogheda United last night.

Duffy was on the scoresheet last night.
Duffy was on the scoresheet last night.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DUNDALK WERE LEFT with significant holes to fill after the high-profile departures at the end of last season.

The loss of a trio like Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Ronan Finn was always going to be felt but Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny set about replacing them with the type of players he has a talent for getting the best out of — usually young, hungry and with something to prove.

And while a number of the new arrivals are beginning to find their feet, Michael Duffy has been the quickest to adapt to his new surroundings since joining from Celtic.

The 22-year-old former Derry City winger has excited on the left side of midfield and last night caused Drogheda United constant problems in a 3-1 win at Oriel Park.

He was involved in the first goal, then got on the end of David McMillan’s pass to score the second after some wonderful build-up play.

“Michael Duffy lit the place up tonight, he was very good,” Kenny told The42 after the final whistle. “He was really dashing on that left wing and he was deservedly named man-of-the-match.

“He has come in and done very, very well. He’s still learning the game but he is a handful for any right full-back and we’re pleased with him.”

Duffy added: “I’m happy with tonight. We needed to bounce back from last week and we did that.

We’ve linked up well and it just shows how big a squad we have this year with so many players missing.

“I’ll get more confident every week as I’m back playing and scoring goals. That’s what I came here to do and I’ve been enjoying it.”

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Sean Gannon is stretchered off the pitch Sean Gannon is carried off the pitch on a stretcher. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Without the injured Stephen O’Donnell, Patrick McEleney and Robbie Benson, the home side still managed to play some neat football in the centre of the park with Thomas Stewart heavily-involved, Conor Clifford growing in confidence and Jamie McGrath playing his part.

“I thought we played very well tonight in what was a really entertaining game,” added Kenny. “We passed the ball brilliantly at times and then nearly undid our good work with some over-play at the back where we nearly got punished.

“Drogheda are a good team and they work very hard for the manager. I’m just delighted that we bounced back with a lot of players missing and a lot coming in for their first game. There were some good performances.”

With Cork City maintaining their 100% record with victory at Markets Field, the result leaves the current champions still six points off top spot ahead of next week’s trip to Finn Harps.

There was more bad news on the injury front too as Sean Gannon was stretchered off early in the second half. The full-back left the ground on crutches and faces a spell on the sidelines as Kenny revealed that he has suffered medial ligament damage.

“We’re disappointed to lose the two games we did — away to Derry in tough circumstances and away to Cork. Both could have been draws really, but we lost the two of them and we have to accept that.

“We have a lot of injuries, Sean Gannon picked up a medial ligament injury. That’s been the story of our season so far but we’ve got five wins out of seven, which isn’t bad. At home, we’ve been exceptional.

“Cork have had an unbelievable start, but that’s the way it goes. It’s early days and we’ve got a tough game in Ballybofey next week. We’ll have to rejig the team again so we’ll see how we are.”

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Ben Blake

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