Kelly’s winner sends Dundalk ten points clear
Dundalk have moved 10 points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division thanks to a dramatic 1-0 win at home to Cork City at Oriel Park tonight.
After a largely frustrating night in front of goal, substitute Georgie Kelly sent Oriel Park into raptures on 78 minutes, nodding home Sean Gannon’s cutback just moments after coming off the bench.
The Lilywhites could have added to their tally in injury time, but a win is all that counts in this their game in hand, as Vinny Perth’s men go 10 points clear of Shamrock Rovers at the top of the table, with six games to play.
Dundalk had the first opportunity of the night when Robbie Benson and Jamie McGrath brilliantly and McGrath found Patrick Hoban with a cross but he missed the target with a stinging shot.
Eoghan Stokes had an effort for Cork City but fired over from just inside the area while at the other end Duffy raced through on goal but his shot was well saved by Ryan from the edge of the area.
Dan Casey made a last ditch effort to deny Hoban as the ball fell to him when Gannon’s cross was missed by the goalkeeper just before the two combined once more with the number 9 heading over.
That was the final action of the half and the champions kept up more of the same after the break.
Patrick McEleney had a low free-kick cleared from the right of the area and Hoban’s cross almost turn shot was tantalising but no one was there to finish.
Benson and Dean Jarvis had efforts from distance with the former’s being blocked down and the latter going narrowly over the crossbar.
Hoban tried his luck once more and had a superb effort from the edge of the area but his curling shot from the edge of the area was palmed away by Ryan.
The deadlock was broken though with 12 minutes left on the watch.
A wonderful ball from McEleney found Sean Gannon raiding inside the right of the box and his perfectly cushioned cross across the six yard area was bravely headed to the net by super substitute Georgie Kelly!
Cork won a dangerous free kick on the right as the clock reached 90 minutes, but Andy Boyle did well to head Shane Griffin’s free kick behind and the corner was dealt with.
That was as close as Cork came to an equaliser and the Lilywhites had chances to add to the lead in extra time, with Ryan saving well from Dan Kelly and Michael Duffy, but Dundalk did enough to grab a deserved win to extend their lead at the top of the table.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Daniel Cleary, Andy Boyle, Dean Jarvis; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (Daniel Kelly 67); Jamie McGrath (Georgie Kelly 77), Patrick McEleney, Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban (capt) (Cameron Dummigan 86)
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey, Lido Lotefa.
Booked: Hoban (25), Boyle (63)
Sent off: None
CORK CITY: Tadgh Ryan; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Shane Griffin; Ronan Hurley, Alec Byrne, Conor McCormack, Daire O’Connor (Darragh Crowley 87), Eoghan Stokes (Ben O’Brien Whitmarsh 83); Mark O’Sullivan.
Substitutes not used: Mark McNulty (GK), Alan Bennett, Pierce Phillips, Rory Doyle, Dale Holland.
Booked: Horgan (48), McCormack (65)
Sent off: None
Referee: Ben Connolly