Dundalk fight back to hold advantage into mid-season break

Controversial penalty seals points for champions at Showgrounds

Richie Towell’s 56th-minute penalty sealed victory for Dundalk over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds. Photo:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Richie Towell’s 56th-minute penalty sealed victory for Dundalk over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Sligo Rovers 1 Dundalk 2

Dundalk will take their three-point lead at the top of the table into the mid-season break after a hard-fought defeat of a rejuvenated Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

Richie Towell’s winner from a controversial penalty and a Rovers own goal helped the visitors come from behind to take all three points against a side managed for the first time by Joseph Ndo.

There was no sign of manager Owen Heary at the Showgrounds amid continued uncertainty over his future, and Rovers were also without the injured John Russell and Steven Beattie.

Instead, youngster Gary Armstrong was handed his first league start of the season in the centre of midfield.

The Bit O’Red could have been in front inside three minutes, as Sander Puri got onto David Cawley’s ball over the top, and dipped the ball over Gary Rogers only for Andy Boyle to take it off the line.

But six minutes later the home side were deservedly in front. Morten Nielsen cut in from the right-hand side and drove a low shot that took an awkward bounce over Rogers and into the net.

Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny voiced his displeasure with what he was seeing, and his side’s first real chance was created by Rovers, as Gavin Peers and Richard Brush combined to present Daryl Horgan with possession on the edge of the area. But Brush redeemed himself with a flying save to keep Horgan’s effort out.

But the leveller came on 34 minutes, with Horgan and the Rovers defence again involved.

Horgan swung a superb ball in from the left and Danny Ledwith could only turn it into his own net under pressure from John Mountney.

Both sides made changes at the break, but Dundalk were growing in confidence and they edged in front 10 minutes into the second half.

It came after referee Paul McLaughlin adjudged that Alan Keane had handled Dane Massey’s cross from the left.

It looked a harsh call as the defender was very close to the Dundalk full back, and Peers was booked for arguing the decision.

But Towell stepped up to send Brush the wrong way from the spot for what proved the decisive goal.

SLIGO: Brush, Keane, Peers, Folan, Ledwith, Cawley, Armstrong, Puri, Wearen (Ward 68), Nielsen (Devaney ht), Corcoran (Cretaro 61).

DUNDALK: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey, Mountney (Meenan ht), Shields, Towell, Horgan, Finn (O’Donnell 72), McMillan (Byrne 75).

Ref: P McLaughlin.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.