St Patrick’s Athletic 0-2 Dundalk FC
Dundalk bounced back from Monday night’s defeat to Bohemians with a comfortable 2-0 win against St. Patrick’s Athletic in the final match before the break.
A Sam Bone own goal in the first half was added to in the second period by centre forward David McMillan to give the Lilywhites a crucial three points at Richmond Park.
The home side had the better of the opening exchanges with Mattie Smith having a header saved by Abibi before former Lilywhite John Mountney snatched at an effort and sent it wide.
Dundalk got a hold of the ball for the next spell and it was mainly Patrick McEleney who was causing rpoblems.
A free-kick was deflected inches wide with the goalkeeper beaten and then the Derry man showed a flash of brilliance to create space 20 yards from goal but his shot was well saved by Jaros down to his left.
The rain began to fall heavier in the middle of the first half with both sides struggling to retain possession.
Billy King found himself in space at the back post, he took the ball down but could only volley over from close range.
Michael Duffy responded with a shot which was charged down but he would play a key role in the lead goal for the Lilywhites.
Hoban did brilliantly to play the Derry man in, he fed it to McEleney and he in turn laid it off for David McMillan. He struck goalwards and it took a touch from Sam Bone on its way to the net to put Dundalk in front.
Pat’s did threaten with a couple of corners but nothing came of those and the visitors went in one up at the break.
They would double their advantage shortly after the interval when Hoban did brilliantly to break the offside trap and get in behind. He showed clever feet and composure to cross for McMillan who finished to the roof of the net.
McMillan had to act as defender moments later when he showed superb awareness and ability to head Paddy Barrett’s header off the line to preserve the two goal lead.
Pat’s looked certain to pull one back when they were through on goal but Andy Boyle produced a stunning block to dey on the line.
The hosts pushed forward to get back into the match but didn’t create much.
Shields and Boyle put their bodies on the line to block shots but they struggled to break us down.
Robbie Benson thrashed a shot wide in what was the final attack of note for the hosts and after five minutes of additional time, referee Neil Doyle blew the full-time whistle signaling a Dundalk victory to take into the midseason break.
ST. PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Viteslav Jaros; John Mountney (Nahum Melvin Lambert 73), Lee Desmond, Paddy Barrett (Alfie Lewis 56), Sam Bone, Ian Bermingham (Ben McCormack 83); Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson, Jamie Lennon (Ronan Coughlan 56); Mattie Smith, Billy King.
Subs not used: Barry Murphy (GK), Josh Keely (GK), Danny Morris, Kian Corbally.
DUNDALK: Alessio Abibi; Raivis Jurkovskis, Chris Shields, Andy Boyle, Val Adedokun; Patrick McEleney, Sam Stanton (Wilfried Zahibo 83), Greg Sloggett, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Sean Murray 66), David McMillan (Daniel Kelly 75).
Subs not used: Peter Cherrie (GK), Darragh Leahy, Ryan O’Kane, Jesus Perez, Mark Hanratty, Han Jeongwoo.
REFEREE: Neil Doyle