Dundalk Claim All Three Against Rovers!
Dundalk were 2-1 winners over Shamrock Rovers on Friday night in a pulsating battle at Oriel Park.
Second half goals from midfield duo Robbie Benson and Chris Shields were enough to take all three points in an entertaining clash. Dan Carr pulled one back for Rovers with 15 left on the clock however Stephen Kenny’s men held out for a superb victory!
It was a cagey opening to things with both sides struggling to retain possession early on but it was Dundalk who had the first chance in the opening seconds when Patrick Hoban had a shot charged down by Lee Grace.
Rovers did have best opening though when Ronan Finn’s superb cross deep to the back post found Sean Kavanagh but he volleyed wide with just Gabriel Sava to beat.
Finn himself was next to have a chance when his run was brilliant in behind the defence and he took the ball past Sava however he ran out of room and Sean Gannon was there to clear.
Dundalk had their first sight of goal when Patrick Hoban teed himself up from 30 yards but blazed the ball over the bar.
It would be Hoban who came closest to opening the scoring though when he got on the end of a superb Michael Duffy pull back but his thundering effort came crashing off the bar and was cleared to safety.
The Lilywhites should have took the lead when Sean Gannon broke on the right hand side and his cross found the head of the rising Duffy but it came crashing off the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
An entertaining half finished scoreless but it wouldn’t be long until the home side broke the deadlock.
Straight after the re-start, Dundalk were on the front foot and and Hoban controlled Robbie Benson’s through ball before shooting. It looked like Horgan had control of it however he spilled and Benson reacted quickest to tap the ball to the net.
Dane Massey was first to Hoban’s knockdown but his goalbound volley was held by the goalkeeper.
It would be 2-0 just after the hour mark when Shields played a harmless cross and it evaded all defenders and goalkeeper Horgan as he watched the ball hit the post and find the net.
Graham Burke responded for Rovers as he fired a shot across goal after Finn’s clever pull back.
They would pull one back when Dan Carr glanced a header home at the near post from Brandon Miele to end Dundalk’s outstanding clean sheet record.
The Hoops had two chances in quick succession but were denied both times by Sava.
First Gary Shaw found himself one on one with the netminder but he spread himself well to block before he somehow tipped the ball onto the crossbar from a rasping Burke shot.
The match descended into somewhat of a scrap from then on in with Rovers opting to go route one in search of an equaliser.
Stevie O’Donnell burst forward and set up Benson however it was skewed wide from 6 yards despite it looking like it took a touch off a Rovers boot.
That was the final action of note as the referee blew the full-time whistle after four added minutes and Dundalk recorded their fourth victory in succession!
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Stephen Folan, Dane Massey (capt); Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; Jamie McGrath (Stephen O’Donnell 76), Krisztian Adorjan (John Mountney 64), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (Marco Tagbajumi 82) .
Substitutes not used: Ross Treacy (GK), Sam Byrne, Dylan Connolly,Dean Jarvis.
Booked: Massey (90)
Sent off: None.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Kevin Horgan; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne (Brandon Miele 68); Greg Bolger, Graham Burke, Ronan Finn (capt); Joel Coustrain (Gary Shaw 74), Dan Carr, Sean Kavanagh.
Substitutes not used: Tomer Chencinski (GK), Ally Gilchrist, David McAllister, Aaron Bolger, Dean Dillon.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Derek Tomney