The road to the Aviva Stadium got that little bit shorter for Ardee Celtic this afternoon as they beat Ballyogan Celtic 4-0 in Leopardstown in round two of the FAI Junior Cup.
After receiving a bye into the next round of the Leinster Junior Cup last weekend, Celtic secured more progress this time around but they had to work for it in Leopardstown. Two goals in each half meant their first obstacle was routinely navigated.
The Deesiders were able to field a strong starting XI in South Dublin, with Darryn Gaynor restored to the line up and first starts of the season for Paul Matondo and Ryan Ward in central midfield.
Ballyogan goalkeeper Scott Cullen was busy in the opening stages, first denying James McMullen. Through in goal, the shotstopper made a fine save and McMullen was unable to convert the rebound.
Cullen then denied Gaynor and Matondo as the visitors started strongly but an opening goal was just around the corner. 18 minutes had been played when Gareth Kane finished from Matondo’s pass.
Kane was again involved as the Font doubled their lead. He did superbly well on the right flank before finding Gaynor. He produced an expert left foot finish for 2-0.
Neither side produced much in the way of interest in the opening stages of the second half and Ardee Celtic were only able to extend their lead after making a number of changes.
Ballyogan midfielder Daniel Douh was also shown a second yellow card by referee Wayne Carey. Rayn Ward’s ball forward was taken down by Matondo and he squared for sub Darren McMullan who tapped in. Another sub, Bryan O’Connor, produced a cross for Gaynor to finish simply for his fourth goal of the campaign.
ARDEE CELTIC: Declan Butler, Robert Reynolds, Kenneth Thornton, John Flanagan, Ciaran Clarke, Mikey Nulty, Ryan Ward, Paul Matondo, Gareth Kane, James McMullen, Darryn Gaynor.
Subs: Darren McMullan for James McMullen, Bryan O’Connor for Gareth Kane, Eddie Burke for Mikey Nulty.