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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

'We showed real determination... The game became a bit of a farce'

Vinny Perth was pleased to see Dundalk overcome Shelbourne in difficult conditions at Tolka Park.

Vinny Perth pictured at Tolka Park last night.
Vinny Perth pictured at Tolka Park last night.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DUNDALK BOSS VINNY Perth hailed his side after they beat Shelbourne 2-1 in Tolka Park on Friday night in front of 3,010 fans.

Wet and windy weather, coupled with a pitch that was in less-than-ideal condition, made it difficult for both sides to play football on the ground.

Perth felt the unfavourable conditions aided Shelbourne more so than his side, praising his team’s perseverance as they withstood a late rally from the hosts, after Gary Deegan’s fantastic strike shortly after half-time got his side back in the game amid a scrappy encounter.

“Shels made it difficult for us,” Perth said afterwards. “I’ve been coming to this ground a long, long time. It was brilliant to see the atmosphere. The goal gave the whole ground a huge lift.

“Hopefully it improves, but the pitch deteriorated so bad, it became a leveller.

Before the goal, I thought it was one of our best performances for a long, long time. Taking into consideration the pitch and everything, the weather conditions. So I’m really pleased with what we done. We had to dig in. We were criticised at various stages for trying three at the back in pre-season. We’ve used it two games in already, so full credit to Shels, they pushed us.

“We felt crosses into the box were a really opportunity for us to score against them. Yes, [the goals have] come off two set pieces. We probably didn’t cross enough. We could have been a bit more clinical in different situations.”

Dundalk next play Cork on Monday night. The Leesiders suffered a 6-0 hammering at the hands of Shamrock Rovers on Friday, with Perth expressing surprise at the severity of the loss.

The Lilywhites suffered no new injury worries, but have had to contend with the absence of five attackers — Patrick McEleney, Sean Murray, John Mountney, Georgie Kelly and Stefan Colovic.

“[We've] just a load of sore bodies,” Perth added. “It became a marsh out there, a lot of tiredness. We’re missing five forward players out of our squad at the moment. That’s ultimately why we ended up having to bring more defenders on than we normally would — that’s not like us to play that way, so we need to get people back as quick as possible, so we’re struggling.

It’s touch and go with Patrick and Georgie Kelly — they’d be two big losses for us at the moment. Sean and John Mountney will be a bit longer. We’re hoping to have Stefan at some stage over the next week. The work permit’s been approved, so he just needs a Visa to come to the country. As soon as we get that, he’s ready to rock.”

Perth continued: “We showed real determination, particularly in the last half an hour, when the game became a bit of a farce. I hope it was also exciting as well. The league needs games like that. It’s brilliant to see this place sold out. Hopefully, people will continue to support Shels in the league.

“As much as it wasn’t a pure football game, there was a bit of excitement to it. They were chasing the draw late on, and it might hopefully bring people back to this place. And again, our away support were brilliant all night.”

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Paul Fennessy

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