Dundalk’s poor start continues against Derry City
Round-up: St Pat’s and Sligo Rovers go joint top, Finn Harps held at Longford Town
Derry’s William Fitzgerald is challenged by Dundalk’s Daniel Cleary. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho
Derry City 1 Dundalk 1
Derry City and Dundalk clearly upped their early season performance levels, but neither managed to record that much sought after opening victory.
In what proved a closely contested, flowing encounter both sides exhibited great commitment with the game always in the balance right up to the final seconds.
Dundalk, now under the leadership of Jim McGilton and Stephen McDonnell, probably edged the scoring chances with fullback Cameron Dummigan crashing a thunderous drive off the Derry crossbar during the latter stages after substitute David McMillan had failed to find the net.
However, for Derry it was another dedicated performance, Declan Devine’s side refusing to give an inch and defending resolutely throughout the game.
Dundalk started brightly with Pat Hoban and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe both failing to hit the target when set up by Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney respectively.
In the 15th minute Duffy did particularly well to deliver a cross into the danger area and while McEleney brought the ball under control he screwed his shot recklessly wide of the Derry goal.
Derry took 15 minutes to work their way into this battle and Danny Lafferty’s curling free found the head of James Akintunde, but the striker headed over the bar when challenged by Daniel Cleary.
Developing into another closely contested affair, Dundalk’s cause was not helped in the 34th minute when they lost the services of their leading hitman. Hoban limping off the park with what appeared to be an ankle injury. He was replaced by David McMillan.
Derry went close again minutes later when Will Fitzgerald broke on the right flank catching Dundalk on he hop, but Andy Boyle got back to poke the ball over the byline at the expense of a corner.
Deadlock was broken in the 54th minute, Dundalk rewarded thanks to a superb move and a superb finish.
McEleney sent Duffy scampering clear and when the winger delivered a low cross the swiftly advancing substitute, McMillan, hammered the ball home from close range.
With their tails now up, Dundalk should have doubled their advantage within 60 seconds when Sam Stanton raced clear but in the one-on-one situation with Nathan Gartside, the Derry keeper pulled off a top drop stop to deny the midfielder.
However, Derry hit back on the hour when Dundalk failed to clear their lines and as the ball bobbled about inside the 18 yards line, Cameron McJannet gleefully forced it home from close quarters.
Derry grew in confidence after the goal and in the 74th minute the hard working Fitzgerald curled a superb free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.
Dundalk finished the game strongly with McMillan failing to hit the target before a superb shot from Cameron Dummigan crashed off the Derry crossbar minutes later.
Derry City: Gartside; Boyce, Toal, McJannet, Coll; Malone, Harkin, Fitzgerald, Lafferty, (Barr, 61); Akintunde |(McLaughlin, 77); Parkhouse.
Dundalk: Abibi; Jurkovskis, Boyle, Cleary, Dummigan; Stanton (Zahibo, 65), Shiels; Ogedi-Uzokwe (Midtskogen, 65); McEleney (Murray, 70); Duffy; Hoban (McMillan, 35).
Referee: R. Hennessy (Limerick)
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Waterford 0
Darragh Burns’ second minute goal at Richmond Park was enough to give St Patrick’s Athletic victory against Waterford in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
This moves the Saints onto 14 points towards the summit of the table, with defending champions Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers marginally in front of them on goal difference.
Burns was drafted into the Pat’s team at right wing-back and his left-footed effort deflected off Waterford defender Kyle Ferguson for a second minute opener.
This was a dream start for the Saints and they continued to create chances as the action progressed. Waterford eventually grew into the game, but Pat’s remained comfortable and ultimately brought a one-goal cushion into the interval.
Having coughed up a late equaliser to Dundalk three days earlier, Pat’s were eager for a second to prevent a similar backlash by their latest opponents. Paul Martin denied Chris Forrester with a low save, before Ronan Coughlan had a goal ruled out on 67 minutes for a foul on the Waterford goalkeeper.
An insurance score didn’t materialise in the end for Stephen O’Donnell’s men but with skipper Ian Bermingham expertly marshalling their defence, they held on to extend their unbeaten start to the season.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Jaros; Desmond, Barrett, Bermingham; Burns, Forrester, Lewis (Lennon, 81 mins), Griffin (Mountney, 53 mins); McCormack (Smith, 62 mins), Coughlan, King (Benson, 46 mins).
Waterford: Martin, Power, Ferguson, Evans, Mascoll; O’Keeffe (Stafford, 72 mins), O’Reilly, Sobowale, Griffin (Mutswunguma, 62 mins); Martin, Waite.
Referee: G Kelly (Cork).
Longford Town 0 Finn Harps 0
Despite a dominant display, Finn Harps had to settle for a point at Bishopsgate after an uninspiring encounter on the Strokestown Road.
Though they defended well, Longford will be disappointed that they failed to create little at the other end, if the result did stem the flow of three straight defeats.
While Harps shaded a scrappy opening, it was Longford who threatened first, Sam Verdon shooting wide across goal 10 minutes in.
Despite losing key central defender Shane McEleney to injury on 18 minutes, the visitors soon produced the game’s first incisive bit of football.
Barry McNamee put brother Tony away on the right to whip over a cross which Sean Boyd headed just off target.
Boyd, on his first start following a serious knee injury, then worked a one-two with Barry McNamee on the half hour to bring a fine parry save from Michael Kelly; Tony blazing the rebound over with the goal at his mercy.
Harps remained on the front foot into the second-half, rightback Ethan Boyle getting forward to sting the hands of Kelly within two minutes.
Precious little else of note transpired until the 75th minute when Harps’ substitute Ryan Shanley shot over after Kelly punched clear a free kick.
Boyle then failed to get enough purchase on a Barry McNamee delivery as Harps continued to look like the only side capable of scoring.
In a late flurry, Joe Gorman came to Longford’s rescue, bravely deflecting a drive out for a corner as Shanley rifled in a shot after Harps skipper Dave Webster’s long throw wasn’t cleared.
Longford Town: Kelly; J. Manley, O’Driscoll, Gorman, Kirk; Dervin, Robinson; Chambers, Verdon, Grimes (Davis, 78); R. Manley (Dobbs, 71).
Finn Harps: McGinley; Boyle (Doherty, 89), Sadiki, McEleney (Folan, 18), Webster; Seymore, Coyle; T. McNamee (Russell, 73), B. McNamee; Foley; Boyd (Shanley, 73).
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).
Bohemians 1 Sligo Rovers 3
Sligo Rovers maintained their position at the top of the Premier Division with a 3-1 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park
The visitors inflicted a third defeat of the season on last season’s runners-up as they prepare to face Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Friday night.
Goals from Jordan Gibson, Mark Byrne and David Cawley saw the Bit o’ Red to victory after Liam Burt had levelled for the home side early in the second half.
17-year-old Johnny Kenny had gone closest to giving Sligo the lead early on, drawing a save from James Talbot before seeing his deflected effort hit the bar.
The visitors hit the front as Gibson capped off a fine counter-attack by volleying home Romeo Parkes’ cross from 15 yards.
Burt drew the sides level with an equally impressive strike just after the restart as his curling shot found the top corner.
Sligo regained the lead against the run of play 14 minutes from time as substitute Byrne got on the end of a Kenny flick and poked past Talbot.
And Cawley wrapped up the points in the dying minutes as he sent his shot flying into the roof of the net.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Rory Feely, Rob Cornwall, Ciaran Kelly, Anto Breslin; Conor Levingston (Keith Ward 81), Ross Tierney (Ali Coote 81), Dawson Devoy; Liam Burt, Jack Moylan, Georgie Kelly.
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan (Lewis Banks 86), John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan, Romeo Parkes; Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira (Mark Byrne 60), Johnny Kenny.