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Match Report

Jamie Gullan hammered in a second-half penalty to earn Dundalk a well-deserved point in a 1-1 draw with Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division at The Showgrounds.

Sligo took the lead past the quarter-hour through Fabrice Hartmann’s long-range rocket, an advantage that they were full value for having been the better team.

Dundalk did display glimpses of a recovery before half-time with Gullan threatening, and it was the Scottish striker that would bring them level four minutes after the resumption, first winning the spot-kick and then converting it with a powerful strike.

Gullan could have gone on to give Dundalk their first win of the season. However, he saw a 68th-minute goal disallowed in a marginal offside call before Dara Keane put him through 13 minutes from the end but this time Ed McGinty got down to save.

Still, it was an encouraging performance from Dundalk after the break and one that they can take plenty of positives from as they closed the gap on ninth-placed Drogheda United to three points.

For the game, Dundalk made one change to the team that lost narrowly to Bohemians on Monday and it was an enforced one as Sam Durrant came in for the injured Robbie Mahon. Zak Johnson returned to the matchday squad as he was listed amongst the substitutes.

Sligo started brightly and, in the fifth minute, Ellis Chapman – who netted twice when the teams met at Oriel Park last month –  found space but from the angle of the area he struck off target. Shortly after, Will Fitzgerald delivered an inviting ball to the back post but Andy Boyle defended well with Max Mata preparing to pounce.

On 16 minutes, Sligo took the lead. Hartmann cut in from the right, past Zak Bradshaw into a central position, and from distance unleashed a strike that flew past George Shelvey, who may feel that he could have done better.

Dundalk were second-best and deservedly behind, while Sligo’s tails were up. The interim management duo of Liam Burns and Brian Gartland made a change in the 25th minute when Johnson came on for Mayowa Animasahun, who had gone down twice.

Dundalk’s first chance came on the half-hour mark when Daryl Horgan’s right-wing cross found Gullan at the back post and his header towards goal was turned behind by ex-Lilywhite midfielder Connor Malley under pressure from Robbie Benson.

On 36 minutes, the visitors put more pressure on the Sligo defence, with Scott High seeing a shot from inside the box well blocked before ‘keeper McGinty collected.

Before the interval, Sligo gifted Dundalk possession in their own half. High scooped the ball into the path of Gullan in the area but he was unable to get his shot away from a tight angle and McGinty got down to smother.

At half-time, Keane was introduced for Paul Doyle for Dundalk while Sligo also made a switch as Wilson Waweru came in for Mata.

Three minutes into the second half, Dundalk were awarded a penalty when Gullan was fouled by JR Wilson. Initially, it appeared that Benson would take the spot-kick but he handed the ball to Gullan who fired to the bottom corner despite McGinty getting a touch.

On 56 minutes, shortly after Shelvey tipped over from Hartmann, Sligo were almost back in front when Fitzgerald dragged a shot which fell to Hartmann whose instinctive effort went inches past the post.

Midway through the second half, Durrant was replaced by Ryan O’Kane. And within a minute, Dundalk had the ball in the net when Benson slipped in Gullan who hammered past McGinty but, in a tight decision, the linesman’s flag ruled it out for offside.

On 71 minutes, Dundalk kept on the front foot with Horgan’s cross leading to pressure on the home defence from Benson and Gullan but Sligo cleared. At the other end, Reece Hutchison raided down the left and his delivery found Waweru whose looping header looked threatening but it went well off target.

On 77 minutes, Dundalk had a great opening when Malley slipped on the ball deep in his own territory and Keane played in Gullan who cut onto his left foot but his low strike was straight at McGinty.

With ten minutes remaining, Eoin Kenny – who made his league debut for the club four days earlier – was again introduced. Sligo appeared to be finishing the better, but in the 91st minute, O’Kane flashed a shot just wide, as Dundalk were made to wait for their first win of 2024.

SLIGO ROVERS: Ed McGinty, John Ross Wilson, Oliver Denham, Charlie Wiggett, Reece Hutchinson, Connor Malley, Niall Morahan, Fabrice Hartmann (Rein Smit 70), Ellis Chapman (Kailin Barlow 70), Will Fitzgerald (Stefan Radosavljevic 80), Max Mata (Wilson Waweru HT). Subs not used: Richard Brush (GK), Kyle McDonagh, Conor Reynolds, Owen Elding, Daire Patton.

DUNDALK FC: George Shelvey, Archie Davies, Mayowa Animasahun (Zak Johnson 25), Andy Boyle, Zak Bradshaw, Scott High, Paul Doyle (Dara Keane HT), Daryl Horgan, Robbie Benson, Sam Durrant (Ryan O’Kane 68), Jamie Gullan (Eoin Kenny 80). Subs not used: Ross Munro (GK), Louie Annesley, Koen Oostenbrink, Hayden Muller, John Mountney.

REFEREE: Paul Norton.


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Sligo Rovers101
Dundalk FC011


Date Time League Season
April 19, 2024 7:45 pm Premier Division 2024 League of Ireland