St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Dundalk 2
Dundalk exorcised the ghosts of their abject display in losing 5-1 at Bohemians on Monday as they took their chances against a St Patrick’s side who couldn’t finish theirs at Richmond Park.
An own goal and a poacher’s strike from David McMillan got the Lilywhites back on track with a fourth win of the season, though they remain in seventh place in the table.
One victory now in six games sees third-placed St Pat’s, top of the table at the end of April, slip six points behind leaders Sligo Rovers.
The home side enjoyed ample possession for a good spell midway through the first half with Billy King twice troubling the Dundalk defence.
The visitors responded with Sam Bone bravely throwing his body at a Michael Duffy shot on the edge of the area before the St Pat's defender played an unwitting part in Dundalk taking the lead against the run of play on 32 minutes.
The approach play was well-orchestrated as Pat Hoban, Duffy and then Patrick McEleney carved St Pat's open to set up McMillan.
And though the striker’s miscued drive was arrowing well wide, Bone stuck out his left foot to knock the ball into his own net.
Dundalk began the second half on the front foot and doubled their lead six minutes in, a little too easily from St Pat’s viewpoint.
Skipper Chris Shields surged forward unchallenged to thread a ball through for the run of Hoban down the inside-right channel.
The low cross wasn’t dealt with at all as McMillan cleverly peeled away from Bone to afford himself a simple tap-in.
Three minutes later McMillan displayed his defensive ability when clearing Paddy Barrett’s header off the line from Robbie Benson’s corner.
St Pat's pressed for much of the remainder of the game. Dundalk, with Andy Boyle immense in the heart of their defence, held firm for a timely, morale-boosting victory.
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: Jaros; Bone, Barrett (Lewis, 56 mins), Desmond; Mountney (Melvin-Lambert, 74 mins) Forrester, Lennon (Coughlan, 56 mins), Benson, Bermingham (McCormack, 83 mins); King, Smith.
DUNDALK: Abibi: Jurkovskis, Shields, Boyle, Adedokun; McEleney, Sloggett, Stanton (Zahibo, 84 mins), Duffy; Hoban (Murray, 67 mins), McMillan (Kelly, 75 mins).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).
Drogheda United 1 Derry City 2
Two stunning Will Patching free-kicks maintained Ruaidhrí Higgins’ incredible away record since taking charge of Derry City.
The Candystripes have claimed 13 points from five matches on the road, this one at Drogheda United franked by a masterclass from their Dundalk loanee.
Fully expecting Patching to deliver a cross from 30 yards out on the right on 10 minutes, Drogheda goalkeeper David Odumosu was instead wrong-footed by the midfielder's opportunistic effort which veered straight into the near corner.
Battling Drogheda were made to wait until the 62nd minute for the equaliser. A needless handball by Cameron McJannett from a Dane Massey cross led Adriano Reale to award a penalty, allowing Mark Doyle to convert his spot-kick straight down the middle.
Patching remained influential and executed another set-piece special for the winner.
When Gary Deegan was adjudged to have tripped substitute Jack Malone 20 yards out, up he stepped to float his free in off the underside of the crossbar despite Odumosu getting a hand on the effort.
Reale then issued two red cards within three minutes. Darren Cole was first to go for a second booking on 82, swiftly followed by Drogheda's Jordan Adeyemo, also for a second caution.
DROGHEDA UNITED: D Odumosu; J Brown, K Phillips (L Heeney, 18 mins), D O'Reilly, D Massey, C Kane; D Markey, G Deegan, M Doyle; R Murray (J Clarke, 61 mins), C Lyons (J Adeyemo, 56 mins).
DERRY CITY: N Gartside; R Boyce, C McJannet, E Toal, C Coll, D Lafferty (J Malone, 64 mins); C Harkin, J Thomson (D Cole, 73 mins)W Patching; J Akintunde (B Barr, 90+2 mins), D Parkhouse (W Fitzgerald, 73 mins).
Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare).