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Patrick Hoban hat-trick sinks St Mochta’s to ease pressure on Dundalk

Patrick Hoban scored his first FAI Cup goals in almost three years as Dundalk crushed non-league St Mochta’s to advance to the last eight.

fter four losses on the spin, the emphatic win will take some of the pressure off a Dundalk team who sit second from bottom in the Premier Division. As was the case last year, a cup win may help paper over the visible cracks of their league struggles.

Hoban’s treble arrived in the second half after Mochta’s had managed a shock equaliser following Sami Ben Amar’s opener. A mistake in the Dundalk defence led to Gareth McCaffrey netting for Brian McCarthy’s side.

The men from Clonsilla have won four from four in the Leinster Senior League season to date but they couldn’t match Dundalk here.

They had League of Ireland experience aplenty in Mick Daly, Garreth Brady, Alex O’Hanlon and McCaffrey in their starting line-up but it mattered little. The gulf in quality was evident and Hoban’s finishing put the non-leaguers to the sword. Han Jeongwoo scored Dundalk’s fifth.

Moroccan winger Ben Amar headed in a corner to set Dundalk on their way but Mochta’s were soon level.

Sloppy play in the home defence saw Karl Sommers capitalise and McCaffrey finish smartly. That was the height of their threat however. Debutant goalkeeper Cameron Yates was untested for the rest of the game.

Hoban’s first came via the penalty spot after Ben Amar was fouled. Then he turned veteran centre-back Alan Byrne brilliantly and found the corner. Hoban’s taste for goals wasn’t sated and after Murray played him in, he blasted a shot past Adam Kmet.

South Korean winger Han Jeongwoo tapped in a rebound after Kmet denied Hoban a fourth and if not for the stopper, it could have been much worse for the visitors.

He denied Hoban again and then Greg Sloggett late on as Mochta’s simply tried to keep the score down.

DUNDALK – Yates; Jurkovskis, Boyle, Nattestad, Dummigan; Zahibo (Sloggett, 29), Stanton (Animasahun, 76); Ben Amar (Hanratty, 69), Murray, Jeongwoo (O’Kane, 76); Hoban.

ST MOCHTA’S – Kmet; Shannon, Murray, Byrne, Byrne; Daly (Grouse, 83), O’Hanlon (Murphy, 86); Scott (Marks, 73), Sommers, Brady (Moran, 73); McCaffrey (Donnelly, 77).

REF – Graham Kelly (Cork)

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