Dundalk 0-0 St Patrick’s Athletic
Dundalk’s hoodoo against Saint Patrick’s Athletic continued as they had to settle for a point despite a spirited performance at Oriel Park on Friday night.The hosts, like last weekend, started very brightly and went close through Wayne Hatswell, twice, and Tom Miller, while David McAllister threatened for the Saints, who went on to dominate the second half for long periods. And Dundalk can count themselves lucky not to have been on the end of a defeat as Peter Cherrie proved hero once more, denying ex-Lilywhite Alex Williams with a wonderful save late on.
Dundalk’s first effort on goal came through Hatswell whose trademark free-kick flew inches wide of the top corner. On the quarter-hour, hesitancy by Conor Kenna in the visiting defence was capitalised upon by Neale Fenn who was fouled as he put Fahrudin Kuduzovic through who was also impeded by the covering Shane Guthrie. The referee, however, failed to even caution Guthrie. The resulting free-kick by Fenn struck Williams in the box and dropped to Miller, but the young midfielder’s effort went narrowly wide of Gary Rogers’ left-hand post.
Dundalk on top
Before the half-hour mark, Hatswell tried another effort, this time his powerful shot from a tight angle on the left well held by Rogers. That chance came from a Liam Burns free-kick after a disgraceful tackle from David Mulcahy on Shaun Kelly, Anthony Buttimer incredibly only booking the St. Pat’s midfielder while also dishing out a yellow card to Miller. On 33 minutes, Cherrie was forced into his first save of the evening when he pushed a fine long-range effort from former Shelbourne midfielder David McAllister over the bar. Dundalk, however, continued on top and to press St. Pat’s back, but the sides remained level at the break.
St. Pat’s started the second half the brighter and they tested Cherrie on the hour-mark, the Scottish ‘keeper pulling off a fine save to deny Kenna’s header after the ex-Drogheda United captain connected with Ian Bermingham’s free. Within seconds at the other end, Gaynor’s first-time volley was gathered by Rogers as Dundalk looked to get back into their stride. The visitors continued on the front foot, though, but it was Dundalk who should have taken the lead ten minutes from time. Hatswell was fouled by McAllister and JJ Melligan stood up to deliver a pinpoint free-kick onto the head of Hatswell but his effort was straight at the ‘keeper.
Kuduzovic then headed wide from a Gaynor corner as St. Pat’s were temporarily pushed back but Pete Mahon’s side should have scored on 84 minutes when Williams found himself with just Cherrie to beat. However, the 27-year-old was denied by his former teammate and countryman as Cherrie produced yet another wonderful point-blank stop. Buoyed by that, the hosts began to pour forward and they almost found their reward when Hatswell’s wicked delivery from the left eventually ended at the feet of Gaynor but his powerful effort was blocked away. That proved to be the hosts’ last opening as their near 12-year wait for a league goal against the Saints continues.
NiceOne Man of the Match: PETER CHERRIE (DUNDALK) – not for the first time this season Dundalk would have left empty-handed was it not for a superb display of stopping from the Bellshill-native.
DUNDALK FC (4-5-1): Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Garry Breen, Liam Burns, Wayne Hatswell; Ross Gaynor, JJ Melligan, Tom Miller, Stephen Maher, Fahrudin Kuduzovic; Neale Fenn.
Booked: T Miller (25), W Hatswell (59), S Maher (65).
Unused Subs: Matt Gregg (GK), Michael Synnott, Ciarán McGuigan, Johnny Breen, Billy Smith.
SAINT PATRICK’S ATHLETIC FC (4-4-2): Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Conor Kenna, Shane Guthrie, Ian Bermingham; Ryan Guy, Stuart Byrne, David Mulcahy, David McAllister (Brian Cash 83); Alex Williams (Paul Byrne 90), Vinny Faherty.
Booked: D Mulcahy (25), A Williams (39), D McAllister (80).
Unused Subs: Dan Connor (GK), Gareth Coughlan, Conor Sinnott.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).