Dundalk suffered their first defeat in eleven matches as they lost 1-0 to Droghed United in the 170th competitive Louth Derby at Head in the Game Park.
Dean Williams first minute goal was the difference as the Lilywhites were left to rue a number of missed chances.
Head Coach Stephen O’Donnell named an unchanged XI from the side which beat UCD 3-0 last week at Oriel Park with John Mountney and Steven Bradley returning to the squad after missing out.
Dundalk got off to the worst possible start when Evan Weir’s cross wasn’t properly dealt with and it fell to Dean Williams, who reacted quickest and he turned to shoot past Nathan Shepperd and give Drogheda United the lead.
The Lilywhites almost responded immediately when David McMillan powered a header just over the bar from Darragh Leahy’s cross before Greg Sloggett’s shot from distance was kept out by a combination of home defenders.
Dundalk were on the front foot but failed to create much of note as the half wore on.
Kelly had a shot go wide after showing some quick feet and McMillan was inches away from Joe Adams’ cross from the right.
Drogheda had a late flurry in the closing stages of the first period as referee Neil Doyle handed out a number of yellow cards just before the interval.
Half-time: Drogheda United 1-0 Dundalk FC
The second half was similar with Dundalk having all the possession.
Benson had an effort deflected over the bar on the volley while Nathan Shepperd had to be at his best to deny Williams a second when he was through on goal.
Substitute Patrick Hoban headed a Keith Ward corner goalwards and it was cleared off the line as the hour mark approached.
Darragh Markey responded for the Drogs with a wicked shot which went inches wide as Hoban got his head to a cross from Leahy but he couldn’t get it anywhere near the target.
Dundalk pushed for a leveller and Sam Bone was the main executer as his cross evaded Bradley at the back post and his shot from distance was charged down.
Darragh Nugent almost made it 2-0 in injury-time but his effort went just wide with Shepperd beaten.
That proved to be the final action as O’Donnell’s men couldn’t find the equaliser and they went down to their second defeat in Drogheda of 2022.
Full-time: Drogheda United 1-0 Dundalk FC
DROGHEDA UNITED: Colin McCabe; Evan Weird, Andrew Quinn, Keith Cowan, James Clarke; Darragh Markey, Gary Deegan, Dayle Rooney (Ryan Brennan 62), Luke Heeney; Dean Williams, Adam Foley (Darragh Nugent 15). Subs not used: Aaron Davis, Chris Lyons, Charles Mutawe, Emre Topcu, Georgie Poynton, Dylan Molloy, Fiachra Pagel.
DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd; Lewis Macari (Ryan O’Kane 57), Mark Connolly, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Greg Sloggett (Sam Bone 81), Paul Doyle (Patrick Hoban 57); Joe Adams (Keith Ward 57), Robbie Benson, Daniel Kelly; David McMillan (Steven Bradley 77). Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (GK), John Mountney, Mark Hanratty.
REFEREE: Neil Doyle.