Dundalk 4 Sligo Rovers 1
Two goals apiece from Seán Murray and Patrick Hoban saw Dundalk end a run of 69 days without a league win against Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park.
Vinny Perth’s side had taken just a single point from their previous six league matches since winning 1-0 against Finn Harps back on July 17th.
However, a brilliant first-half double from Murray, who scored twice in the space of eight minutes either side of an equaliser from Johnny Kenny with what proved to be Sligo's only real chance of note, set them on their way to ending that unwanted run.
Hoban then put the game to bed on 63 minutes to all but end any slim hopes Liam Buckley’s side had of getting back into the title race before adding another in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The home side got off to a dream start when Murray fired them in front on 12 minutes. Sami Ben Amar found space on the right to cross with the midfielder stealing in at the near post to slot past Ed McGinty.
Dundalk's lead would last less than two minutes, however, as Sligo equalised almost instantly. Niall Morahan played a superb ball over the top for Kenny to race onto and the teenager did superbly well to hold off Raivis Jurkovskis before rifling past Peter Cherrie.
The Lilywhites would then retake the lead with their next meaningful attack on 20 minutes with Murray netting from 10 yards after Hoban’s shot was blocked for what was his fifth goal in his last six outings.
Dundalk continued to dominate and made sure of the result on 63 minutes when Hoban turned in from close range after Michael Duffy had drilled the ball across the box.
He then added a fourth in the 95th minute with a brilliant finish from just outside the area to complete his side’s biggest win of the season.
DUNDALK: Cherrie, Jurkovskis (Nattestad, 88), Cleary, Leahy, Dummigan; Sloggett, Patching (Hanratty, 88); Ben Amar (Animasahun, 71), Murray, Han (Duffy, 54), Patrick Hoban.
SLIGO ROVERS: E McGinty; C Horgan, L Banks, J Mahon, R Donelon; N Morahan, A McDonnell; W Figueira (Byrne, 74), R De Vries (M Lorenzen), J Kenny (S Keogh, 84); A Wright (R Parkes. 74).
Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).
Derry City 3 Longford 0
Derry City bounced back following Monday night’s late, late disappointment at Dalymount Park when putting lowly Longford to the sword in front of 2,000 fans at the Brandywell.
And the win was boosted following the news that neighbours Finn Harps had defeated Bohemians at Dalymount, with both north west clubs now battling for places in Europe next season.
Two goals to the good at half-time, followed by a third in the 80th minute, saw the Candystripes maintain their hopes of Europe.
The Brandywell side made their intentions known during the early stages when breaking the deadlock in the 18th minute.
Longford centre back Joseph Manley seemed to dwell when in possession and when the ball was poked clear into the path of the advancing Jamie McGonigle, the Derry striker produced a sublime finish.
In the 25th minute Longford midfielder Darragh Nugent let fly with a low shot which was directed straight at the body of Nathan Gartside who saved with ease.
Three minutes later the visitors were in serious trouble when Derry doubled their lead following a fluent move up the right flank.
McGonigle again broke free and when he found Will Fitzgerald inside the winger presented James Akintunde with a gilt-edged chance. Unmarked and in no shortage of space, Akintunde actually passed the ball to the net from six yards.
The home side went close to netting a third goal in the 48th minute, but to be fair, Longford refused to throw in the towel.
Nugent burst forward again in the 52nd minute and while he carried the ball into the box, he appeared to lose control resulting in sending his shot high over the crossbar.
Derry ended the game as a contest 10 minutes from the end following another quality move.
Sub Evan McLaughlin played a superb ball in behind the Longford defence and when Danny Lafferty let fly, Lee Steacy produced a superb diving save, parrying the ball out before Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe met the loose ball and dinked it into the net.
DERRY CITY: Gartside; Boyce (Porter, 86), Toal, McJannet, Lafferty; Harkin (Storey, 86), Hery (McLaughlin, 65); Ogedi-Uzokwe, Akintunde, Fitzgerald (Coll, 65), McGonigle (Malone, 73).
LONGFORD TOWN: Steacy; Elworthy, Manley, O'Driscoll, Zambra (Kirk, 74); Dervin, Nugent, Byrne (Dobbs, 74), Grimes (Davis, 82); Williams.
Referee: J McLoughlin (Dublin).
Bohemians 1 Finn Harps 2
Substitute Dan Hawkins scored with his first touch to seal this big win for Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.
Following Monday’s 3-3 draw with Derry City, the result damages fifth-placed Bohemians’ hopes of making Europe via the league.
With Dundalk and Waterford both winning, it marked a vital victory for Harps to keep the Donegal side five points clear of the relegation playoff place.
Bohemians dominated the first half with Georgie Kelly twice heading off target before Keith Ward brought a stunning save from 40-year-old Ger Doherty in the 36th minute with a drive from distance.
A nervous start to the second half by Bohs was duly punished on 55 minutes as Harps took the lead.
Ryan Rainey collected a loose clearance to thread the ball to right back Ethan Boyle, whose shot took a deflection off Anto Breslin to find the bottom corner of James Talbot's net.
With Bohs now chasing the game hard, dogged defending from Harps denied them an equaliser four minutes later, Boyle somehow getting back to deflect Ross Tierney’s shot out for a corner.
A minute later, Tunde Owolabi burst forward on the counterattack only to blaze wide with the goal at his mercy before Harps again availed of dreadful defending to seal their win on 81 minutes.
Breslin allowed Karl O'Sullivan to cross to the back post where Hawkins got behind Rob Cornwall to stretch out a leg and direct the ball to the net.
Liam Burt’s fine low strike past Doherty in the third minute of added time was mere consolation for Bohs.
BOHEMIANS: Talbot; Lyons (Feely, 67), Cornwall, C. Kelly, Breslin; Buckley (Levingston, 67), Devoy; Ward (Coote, 67), Tierney (Kiernan, 84), Burt; G. Kelly.
FINN HARPS: Doherty; Boyle, McEleney, Webster, Mustoe; Rainey (Doherty, 90+3), Dunleavy, Connolly (Coyle, 80), B. McNamee; Boyd (O'Sullivan, 68), Owolabi (Hawkins, 80).
Referee: Ray Matthews (Midlands).
Waterford 1 Drogheda 0
Phoenix Patterson grabbed a massive goal for Waterford FC in their survival bid as his second league goal of the season gave the Blues a narrow 1-0 win over 10-man Drogheda United at the RSC.
The hosts controlled the first half with Patterson driving them forward, and he was twice denied by Drogheda goalkeeper David Odumosu in the space of 60 seconds. His first effort on 16 minutes was superbly kept out after some good play from Junior Quitirna with his second-half save at the near post.
Killian Philips headed a Ronan Murray corner kick over the bar in a rare Drogheda chance on 44 minutes, before they were reduced to 10 men three minutes into the second half when Gary Deegan picked up his second yellow card after pull back on Prince Mutswunguma.
Waterford struck the front on 51 minutes when Anthony Wordsworth’s clever free-kick spotted the run of Patterson on the right, and he drilled the ball under the body of goalkeeper David Odumosu, before Mutswunguma and Wordsworth having further chances to increase the hosts before the finish.
WATERFORD FC: Murphy, Power, Ferguson, Nolan, Evans (Stafford, 67), O'Keeffe, Wordsworth, Patterson, Mutswunguma, Martin, Quitirna (Halford, 74).
DROGHEDA UNITED: Odumosu, Brown, Kane, O'Reilly, Redmond, Markey (Heeney, 46), Deegan, Philips (Clarke, 83), Doyle, Adeyemo, Murray (Lyons, 55).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).