Late Hoban Header Takes All Three Points!
There was late drama at Oriel Park on Friday night as Dundalk were 2-1 winners over Sligo Rovers!
A Patrick Hoban brace, the second coming in the 89th minute, was enough to secure a crucial win for the hosts after Rhys McCabe looked like he had stolen a point from the spot for the Bit o’Red.
Dundalk were the dominant force in the opening period with a series of corners and free-kicks causing some level of panic in the visitors area and the best chance of note when Brian Gartland volleyed wide from just inside the area after Robbie Benson’s free-kick broke to him.
Duff himself then tried from 20 yards but his driven effort went behind for a goal kick.
Duffy again was a menace and his cross was headed back to the waiting Ronan Murray by Patrick Hoban however his shot was scuffed and went wide.
Gartland looped a header into the arms of Mitchell Beeney before Caolan McAleer had the first effort for Sligo Rovers on the 20 minute mark when he shot from the edge of the area however it was easily gathered by Gary Rogers.
The Lilywhites then took the lead when Dylan Connolly took a touch past Patrick McClean in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Hoban who struck to the left of the net and Dundalk were 1-0 up.
Rogers then had to tip a McAleer shot behind for a corner before Ronan Murray got his head onto Duffy’s cross from the left but somehow it was cleared off the line by Gary Boylan.
Sligo had a penalty shout when McAleer was through on goal and Rogers came and won the ball but he caught the striker however the referee didn’t award the penalty.
A few moments later though Tomas Connolly would point to the spot when Folan’s header didn’t reach Rogers and McAleer skipped past the goalkeeper who was adjudged to have brought him down.
Rhys McCabe stood up and fired it past Rogers to level it at the break.
Dundalk were on the front foot from the off in the second half but were struggling to create any chances.
Duffy had the first chance of the half when his header went just wide from Murray’s cross while on the hour mark, Dundalk should have retaken the lead when a wonderful flowing move saw Hoban find Benson in the area and when he was one on one with Beeney he decided to try pass it across goal to Murray but he somehow directed the ball wide of the post witht he goal at his mercy.
Hoban’s header was flicked just wide by Mahon as it looked destined for the net and substitute Jamie McGrath did well to create space for himself after his initial shot was blocked but Beeney from 12 yards.
Duffy came deep for the ball and he danced past four Sligo Rovers players and played Dane Massey in down the left and his whipped cross went all the way to the back post to the rushing Connolly however he skied it with just the goalkeeper to beat.
Substitute Marco Tagbajumi then had two quickfire headers go straight at Beeney despite having time to do more with the ball while Connolly had a shot go wide also.
Connolly would though be heavily involved in the lead goal in the 89th minute. It was his cross which was too deep however Duffy retrieved the ball on the left and laid it off to Massey.
He played the inch perfect chipped cross to the back post and up rose Hoban to nod it past Beeney to give Dundalk the goal that they deserved.
Adam Morgan’s header was miraculously cleared off the line by Dean Jarvis in the final seconds of the game.
That proved to be the final action as Hoban’s header secured another late three points for the Lilywhites!
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland (capt), Stephen Folan (Dane Massey 54), Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields (Marco Tagbajumi 79), Robbie Benson; Dylan Connolly, Ronan Murray (Jamie McGrath 66) Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Georgie Poynton, Krisztián Adorján, Gavin Smith.
Booked: Rogers (45), Hoban (89), Massey (90)
SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Regan Donelon, Gary Boylan, Kyle McFadden, Patrick McClean (Jack Keaney 42); Rhys McCabe, David Cawley, Caolan McAleer, John Mahon; Raffaele Cretaro (Eduardo Pinceli 67), Greg Moorhouse (Adam Morgan 57)
Substitutes not used: Edward McGinty (GK), Calum Waters, Adam Wixted, Lewis Morrison.
Referee: Tomas Connolly.