Leaders Dundalk take Sligo Rovers apart

Free-scoring Louth side send out another statement of intent

Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban  celebrates  his side’s third goal with team-mates. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban celebrates his side’s third goal with team-mates. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Dundalk 3 (Horgan 23, Byrne 48, Hoban 60), Sligo Rovers 0 Free-scoring Dundalk sent out another statement of intent with a comprehensive dismantling of Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park. The sides met in the Setanta Cup final two weeks ago in Tallaght with the result going the Bit o’Red’s way but, last night, there was only ever going to be one outcome as the league leaders fizzed with intent right from the off.

After putting seven goals past Drogheda United three nights earlier, Dundalk continued where they left off by flooding men forward at every opportunity. The only surprise at half-time was that they only had a solitary strike to show for their total dominance of the opening 45 minutes.

That goal arrived midway through the half from Daryl Horgan. The little winger picked up possession and was invited to advance towards the Rovers box. By the time somebody in a red shirt came to close him down, the ball was already past Gary Rogers, Horgan’s vicious low drive beating the keeper at his right-hand post. Served notice Sligo Rovers had already been served notice prior to the goal. Horgan should have opened the scoring early on but he shot straight at Rogers’ legs after being slipped in by Kurtis Byrne.

Horgan then fluffed his lines in the 16th minute, mis-kicking in front of goal after a wonderful four man move had sliced the Rovers defence to shreds. Evan McMillan was on hand to hoof the scuffed effort off the line.

There was nothing Rogers to do to stop Horgan from opening the scoring soon after but the Meathman did prevent Dundalk from pulling out of sight, saving brilliantly from Sean Gannon and Richie Towell before the break.

Ian Baraclough’s side created nothing in the final third. Their one real moment of danger arrived eight minutes before half-time when Danny North took advantage of a loose ball to plough goalwards. His pass looked set to put Aaron Greene in the clear but Dundalk skipper Andy Boyle halted his progress with a fine last ditch tackle.

The second half was just three minutes old when the natives deservedly made it 2-0. Darren Meenan picked out Kurtis Byrne in space in the box and he curled a cracking left-footed drive past the helpless Rogers.

The Sligo goal continued to face a barrage after that and Byrne and Hoban were both denied by Rogers before the latter tapped home goal number three from close range after a Byrne shot had rattled the woodwork. DUNDALK: Cherrie; Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Shields, Towell; Meenan, Byrne (Griffin 89), Horgan (Higgins 69); Hoban (McMillan 80). SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Spillane, McMillan, Henderson, Gaynor; Russell, Ledwith (Odihambo HT), O’Conor (Maguire 83), Cawley, Greene; North. Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).

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