Dundalk 0-3 Sligo
Dundalk fell to a 3-0 defeat on Saturday night to Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park.
Goals from Achille Campion, Phil Roberts and Raff Cretaro gave the Bit o’Red the three points which means that the champions lead at the top of the table has been cut to a single point.
Dundalk got off to the worst possible start when Achille Campion tapped into an empty net when Gary Rogers failed to control a back pass from Brian Gartland.
Dundalk responded well when Meenan crossed for Finn but his shot was blocked by Mick Leahy. Finn had another chance from a Horgan through ball but he fired wide from close range.
Leahy had a chance at the other end from a John Russell cross but it looped just over the bar.
Dundalk were pressing and Finn came close again before David McMillan fired just wide of the goal however it was to be 2-0 just before the break.
A superb break away from Sligo caught the hosts on the break and Cretaro won the ball. His angled ball forward fell to substitute Phil Roberts who jinked past Gannon and turned Boyle before iring an unstoppable shot to the bottom right corner past the despairing dive of Rogers.
The half finished close to how it started with Finn firing over the bar when under pressure and the referee blew the half-time whistle.
McMillan headed straight at the goalkeeper to begin the second period and it looked as if they would have the numerical advantage when Liam Martin was sent off for a lazy tackle on Gannon when in truth a booking would have sufficed.
Instead though it was 3-0 just on the hour mark when Russell and Cretaro interchanged brilliantly on the right and it finished with Cretaro firing to the bottom left corner.
McMillan almost pulled one back immediately when a through ball from Gannon fell to him but his volley was expertly saved by Nugent.
Kenny went three at the back in a bid to salvage something from the night and it freed Horgan to run and he fired straight at Nugent after taking the ball from his own half.
Dean Shiels looked to have a golden opportunity to grab what may have been a consolation with 15 minutes remaining when he rounded Nugent after receiving the ball from Boyle however he skewed the ball wide from a tight angle.
Cretaro tried an ambitious lob from the halfway line as the match approached the 90th minute as Massey’s cross cum shot was deflected wide also.
Shiels had a chance to grab one in injury-time when he met Horgan’s cross but it was saved once again by Nugent and that proved to be the final action of the match with attention switching to Tuesday night against Cork City.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (Dean Shiels 72), Andy Boyle, Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Patrick McEleney 46), Stephen O’Donnell (capt); Darren Meenan (John Mountney 62), Ronan Finn, Daryl Horgan; David McMillan.
Substitutes not used: Shane Grimes, Paddy Barrett, Ciaran O’Connor, Gabriel Sava (GK)
Sent off: None.
Sligo Rovers: Ciaran Nugent; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Mick Leahy, Gary Boylan, Pat McCann; Liam Martin, John Russell (Daniel Kearns 67), Craig Roddan (capt), Jimmy Keohane; Achille Campion (Phil Roberts 32), Raff Cretaro
Substitutes not used: Regan Donelon, Kieran Sadlier, Jason Hunt, Mikey Place, Mark Hannon
Sent off: Martin (55)
Attendance: 2, 683
Referee: Ben Connolly