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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 24 May, 2019

'The game hadn't got enough good football in it' - Kenny frustrated by Cork's direct approach

The Dundalk boss saw his side suffer their first defeat of the season.

Stephen Kenny dejected A dejected Stephen Kenny after Dundalk's 1-0 defeat to Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DUNDALK MANAGER STEPHEN Kenny bemoaned Cork City’s tactics after watching his side suffer a 1-0 defeat to the Leesiders last night at Turner’s Cross.

Gearoid Morrissey’s 59th-minute volley was the difference between the teams as Dundalk lost for the first time this season. The defending champions have subsequently moved three points clear at the summit of the Premier Division table.

“I don’t think it was a game that we deserved to lose,” Kenny told RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue. “The game hadn’t got enough good football in it at all. I thought we had progressed as top teams and we should be doing more. Obviously Cork went very, very direct.”

While Cork started the game brightly, Dundalk soon found their rhythm. The Lilywhites had been the better side until Morrissey sparked life into the hosts with a superb finish.

Dan Cleary hit the post with a first-half header for the visitors, before Michael Duffy was inches away from curling the ball into the corner of Mark McNulty’s net. Robbie Benson forced McNulty to make an excellent save shortly after the restart, but Dundalk were unable to beat the City goalkeeper over the course of 90 minutes in front of a sell-out attendance of 6,672.

Kenny was also unhappy with the condition of the pitch at Turner’s Cross, but he did acknowledge the brilliance of the finish that gave City all three points. Morrissey pounced on Cleary’s headed clearance after Garry Buckley flicked Karl Sheppard’s cross off the bar.

“From our point of view, we should be able to get it down and play more than we did, but it’s very hard when you’re under pressure and the pitch is as poor as it is. We created a lot of chances, we didn’t take them and we got punished,” said the Dundalk boss.

“It was a good goal, a good finish from Gearoid Morrissey, very good strike. We should have prevented maybe the situation developing from the wide area and after getting away with it hitting the crossbar.”

It’s still early days in what has been a mostly promising season so far for Dundalk, but Kenny is keen to see improvement from his players ahead of Monday’s visit of St Patrick’s Athletic to Oriel Park.

He said: “We can’t concern ourselves with the opposition, we can only try and be better ourselves. We have to try and be better ourselves as well.

“The pitch wasn’t conducive to good football tonight and certainly Cork close you down at such a rate that it is very, very difficult. But I do think that we’ll look to improve again.

“I don’t think it’s a game we deserved to lose but it’s a narrow defeat and we have to accept it.”

Watch: The superb Morrissey volley that settled Cork City and Dundalk’s top of the table clash

Morrissey fires Cork City back to the top and ends Dundalk’s unbeaten run

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Paul Dollery

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