Dundalk leave St Patrick’s Athletic reeling with second-half salvo
Richie Towell pulls the strings for a ruthless and Dundalk side who pull away in the second half
Sean Gannon of Dundalk appears to handle the ball on the line against St Patrick’s Athletic. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Dundalk 4
Dundalk may have failed to perform in last year’s crunch end of season showdown here but they comfortably gave as good as they got last night and took what they’d come for thanks to second half goals from John Mountney, Daryl Horgan, David McMillan and, with virtually the last kick of the game, Seán Gannon.
The defeat leaves the champions, who led at the break thanks to Chris Forrester, well down the table. They had a strong penalty claim waved away then, less contentiously, having Greg Bolger sent off at a stage when Dundalk were really beginning to take control 15 minutes from time. Killian Brennan certainly let the referee know how unhappy he was and he received a red card after the final whistle .
Dundalk, though, were worth their win even if the scoreline was hard on the hosts. They showed real character to come from behind and looked to be getting well on top when Bolger was dismissed. From that point on, though, they simply coasted with the last two goals having a real swagger about them.
Richie Towell was as lively and inventive as ever with the 22-year-old at the heart of most of Dundalk’s best attacking moves. The visitors’ finishing, though, was poor early on, though, while the Dubliners were more ruthless when the opportunity arose as it did when d a terrible first touch by Brian Gartland gifted possession to Forrester. The first time finish through the legs of the defender was still something though.
Both sides made spirited claims for a penalty at different time but the locals shouted longer and harder when Stephen O’Donnell appeared to handle on the line while Peter Cherrie also made a couple of good saves.
Had the locals extended their lead at that point it might have been a very different game. Instead, Stephen Kenny’s side equalised early in the second period courtesy of a long, low driven free by Mountney 10 yards or so outside the area. After Horgan had made it 2-1 with a terrific finish, they dominated an increasingly disjointed and slightly testy encounter. Having conceded again, the hosts had virtually given up by the time Gannon scored at the death.
“To say it’s disappointing is putting it mildly,” said Buckley. “We let them back into it in the last five minutes of the first half and then just never got going in the second. “
Kenny, needless to say, was happier. “But you’re always vulnerable after a really convincing win,” he concluded. “We’ve got to back this up now against Derry.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’Brien, Foran, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger; Byrne (Hoare, 78 mins), Brennan, Quigley (Fahey, 63 mins), Forrester (Kavanagh, 73); Fagan.
DUNDALK : Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Mountney (Meenan, 80 mins), Shields, O’Donnell (Higgins, 90 mins); Towell, Hoban (McMillan, 76 mins), Horgan.
Referee: P Sutton (Clare).