John Martin’s Goal of the Month contender was chalked off by an 83rd-minute equaliser by Harry Wood as Shelbourne left Oriel Park with a share of the spoils to put a dent in Dundalk’s hopes of European qualification.
Lilywhites head coach Stephen O’Donnell made seven changes to the side that played against KA less than 72 hours earlier with Daryl Horgan named in a Dundalk side for the first time since 2016 after his return earlier in the week.
Shels started the game energetically and they had big shouts for a penalty waved away when JR Wilson went down under pressure from Hayden Muller. Wood then tried to catch Nathan Shepperd off his line with a long-range effort that posed no problems to the Lilywhites goalkeeper.
The hosts had their first sighting of goal in the 11th minute when Cameron Elliott found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat but Conor Kearns saved with his feet.
There were half-chances for both sides as the interval approached before Dundalk broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Johannes Yli-Kokko, who showed great tenacity and energy throughout, was floored by Shelbourne midfielder Mark Coyle, resulting in a dangerous free kick in a very dangerous area.
Hogan and Martin eagerly stood over it, and when the former dummied it, Martin paced up and smashed his laces through the ball, sending it flying into the top right corner past an airborne Kearns. Oriel erupted, it was a glamorous goal!
The second half started in scrappy fashion but Dundalk got on top and Greg Sloggett, who wore the captain’s armband, let fire from range just short of the hour mark. His shot was met with another great save by Kearns, the big netminder punching the ball out for a corner.
Substitute Ryan O’Kane almost brought the house down when he cut in from the left and let fly with a ferocious right-footed effort that cleared the upright and Dundalk paid the price for the missed chances when Shels drew level with seven minutes to play.
Shane Farrell nodded the ball into the path of Wood and with Dundalk exposed, the 21-year-old sidestepped inside Louie Annesley and placed a fine effort past Nathan Shepperd to secure Damien Duff’s men a point.
The result leaves Dundalk in fifth place, one point ahead of Shels, and three adrift of fourth-placed Derry City, who have a game in hand with 10 league games to play.
DUNDALK FC: Nathan Shepperd; Archie Davies, Hayden Muller, Darren Brownlie (Patrick Hoban 76), Louie Annesley, Robbie McCourt (Ryan O’Kane 63); Greg Sloggett, Johannes Yli-Kokko, Daryl Horgan (Sam Durrant 88); Cameron Elliott (Daniel Kelly 63), John Martin (Andy Boyle 77). Subs not used: Darragh Leahy, Alfie Lewis, Paul Doyle, Peter Cherrie (GK).
SHELBOURNE: Conor Kearns; John Ross Wilson (Jad Hakiki 61), Andrew Quinn (Paddy Barrett HT), Gavin Molloy, Shane Griffin, Tyreke Wilson; Evan Caffrey, Mark Coyle (Shane Farrell 72), JJ Lunney, Harry Wood; Jack Moylan (Will Jarvis 61). Subs not used: Subs not used: Daithi Folan (GK) Jad Hakiki, Luke Byrne, Gbemi Arubi, David Toure.
REFEREE: Kevin O’Sullivan. ATTENDANCE: 2,318.