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Match Report

Dundalk’s search for a first home league goal of the year will continue into late April after they were held scoreless for the third time in a row at Oriel Park in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division on Friday night.

George Shelvey, who returned to the team in place of Ross Munro, had an early scare but then produced a fine stop to keep out Chris Forrester’s strike before the half-hour.

Conor Keeley headed wide when well placed before half-time but, in front of a crowd of 2,325, Dundalk started the second half at a fast pace and were unlucky not to lead, going closest through substitute Mayowa Animasahun.

While the better team, Dundalk could have lost the game, with a loud penalty shout from the Saints waved away before Jake Mulraney, who came off the bench, struck the post deep into injury-time, as the Lilywhites’ winless start to the season extended to nine games.

Dundalk made four changes to the side that lost 4-1 at Derry City seven days earlier. Archie Davies, on the right wing, returned from suspension and was joined in the starting XI by Andy Boyle, Jamie Gullan and Shelvey. Animasahun, Koen Oostenbrink and Ryan O’Kane were the others to miss out.

In the 11th minute, Shelvey delayed on the ball and was charged down by Mason Melia, with the ‘keeper and crowd relieved to see the ball drift away from goal which left the St Pat’s No9 with an impossible angle to score from.

Dundalk were forced into a change just before the midway point of the first half when Zak Johnson was replaced at the heart of the defence by Animasahun.

On 28 minutes, a good move by St Pat’s ended with Forrester curling a shot from just outside the box that was pushed behind by Shelvey.

Nine minutes before the break, the Saints went close to breaking the deadlock when Brandon Kavanagh delivered a pinpoint corner for Keeley, but the centre-half sent his free header wide of the post.

Dundalk started the second half brightly and had an early effort from Gullan which lacked power and accuracy on the turn, and then captain John Mountney raided forward and struck off target.

That started a period of intense pressure led by a strong Robbie Benson showing and, on 52 minutes, they almost made the breakthrough when Mountney stood up a cross for Animasahun but his effort went agonisingly wide.

Dundalk, though, were almost caught cold in the 56th minute when a ball over the top put Melia in the clear but after closing down on goal his shot was tipped over by Shelvey. At the other end, Zak Bradshaw made a good run forward but his strike sailed over.

St Pat’s had weathered the storm, although Dundalk remained on top in a well-contested battle. The hosts survived a penalty shout with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after a risky but fine challenge from Bradshaw, leading to protests from the St Pat’s bench as Jon Daly got booked.

In the 94th minute, Dundalk had a huge let-off when Mulraney raced into the box and from close to the by-line fired off the post from what looked like too tight of an angle, as the sides settled for a point apiece.

DUNDALK FC: George Shelvey, John Mountney (Sam Durrant 80), Zak Johnson (Mayowa Animasahun 22), Andy Boyle, Zak Bradshaw, Scott High, Robbie Benson, Archie Davies, Daryl Horgan (Dara Keane 68), Robbie Mahon (Ryan O’Kane 80), Jamie Gullan (Cami Elliott 67). Subs not used: Ross Munro (GK), Koen Oostenbrink, Hayden Muller, Paul Doyle.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Danny Rogers, Luke Turner, Conor Keeley, Joe Redmond, Anto Breslin, Aaron Bolger (Kian Leavy 68), Jamie Lennon, Brandon Kavanagh (Romal Palmer 83), Chris Forrester, Alex Nolan (Jake Mulraney 68), Mason Melia (Ruairí Keating 90). Subs not used: Marcelo Pitaluga (GK), Jason McClelland, Cian Kavanagh, Arran Pettifer, Alfie Taylor.

REFEREE: Gavin Colfer.


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Dundalk FC000
St Patrick’s Athletic000


Date Time League Season
April 12, 2024 7:45 pm Premier Division 2024 League of Ireland