Longford Town 0-3 Dundalk
Dundalk went seven points clear with three games to play on Monday night as they were comfortable 3-0 winners at City Calling Stadium against Longford Town.
First half strikes from Dane Massey and David McMillan were added to by a fortuitous Daryl Horgan goal early in the second period which confirmed Longford’s relegation in the process.
Dundalk got off to a bright start when Patrick McEleney controlled the ball and played a lofted pass to David McMillan who was through on goal however it was smothered by Ryan Coulter who rushed from his goal.
Brian Gartland headed a John Mountney corner straight at Ryan Coulter in goal while Dane Massey repeated the trick moments later.
It was 1-0 after a quarter of an hour when Alan Keane brilliantly won possession back on the right 30 yards out and played the ball inside to Dane Massey. He took a touch and set himself before unleashing an outstanding effort to the bottom right corner of the net past the reach of former Lilywhite Ryan Coulter.
The champions controlled proceedings after that and were stroking the ball around with authority however they created little in the way of chances.
Horgan had the next effort after he received the ball from McMillan who capitalised on a slip from Pat Flynn. His trickery created an opening for himself when he danced past two defenders before he fired at goal but Coulter pulled off a good stop despite seeing the ball late.
Kealan Dillon registered Longford’s first effort on goal 10 minutes before the break when he struck a 35 yard effort but it was palmed away by Gabriel Sava in goal.
It was 2-0 on 41 minutes when a sweeping move from Dundalk finished with substitute Darren Meenan playing the ball to Finn and his delightful through ball to McMillan was finished to the net superbly by McMillan for his 16th goal of the season.
It was 2-0 at the break and the points were wrapped up four minutes after the re-start.
Dundalk pushed forward and McEleney’s cross was into the path of Horgan. However he couldn’t control and it was attempted to be cleared by Conor Powell however his clearance bounced back off Horgan and into the net.
That killed the game and any sort of flow with Dundalk in full control.
Andy Boyle nearly through a spanner in the works by overhitting a backpass to his goalkeeper Sava however the ball thankfully flew past the right hand post.
That was the only danger that Dundalk had throughout the half and McMillan had a superb chance to add to the lead however his header from Meenan’s cross crashed off the post.
That was the final action of note as Stephen Kenny had the opportunity to use his bench and they went seven points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League knowing a win will seal the title against Bohs on Sunday.
LONGFORD TOWN: Ryan Coulter; Jamie Mulhall, Pat Flynn, Rhys Gorman, Conor Powell (capt); Kevin O’Connor, Mark Hughes (Gaius Makouta 85), Kealan Dillon (Philip Gannon 62); Peter McGlynn, David O’Sullivan, Don Cowan (Eddie Dsane 70)
Substitutes not used: Karl Chambers, T. Noack Hoffman, Yann Mvita, Paul Skinner (GK)
Booked: Gorman (28)
Sent off: None.
DUNDALK: Gabriel Sava; Alan Keane, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle (capt), Dane Massey; Chris Shields (Robbie Benson 56), Ronan Finn; John Mountney (Darren Meenan 21), Patrick McEleney, Daryl Horgan (Ciaran Kilduff 76); David McMillan
Substitutes not used: Shane Grimes, Paddy Barrett, Dean Shiels, Gary Rogers (GK)
Sent off: None.
Referee: James McKell