Late Hoban Goal Seals Big Win!
There was late drama at Oriel Park as Dundalk snatched a dramatic winner to go top of the SSE Airtricity League with a well deserved victory over Cork City on Friday night!
Krisztián Adorján gave Dundalk the lead before Josh O’Hanlon levelled for the Rebels. Top scorer Patrick Hoban headed home in the 93rd minute though to seal a superb late win for the Lilywhites.
It was a cagey opening to the game with neither side really creating anything of note until the 12th minute when a superb Jamie McGrath clipped cross was headed down at the back post by Patrick Hoban into the path of Michael Duffy however he could only hook the ball wide from 6 yards.
Kieran Sadlier then had the visitors first effort of the night on the 20 minute mark but his shot from distance cleared the crossbar.
Robbie Benson’s shot was cleared away from goal after some clever footwork from McGrath set him up before Barry McNamee fired from 25 yards but his drive was straight at Gary Rogers.
McGrath threaded a ball into space for Benson to run onto and he shot first time but he couldn’t find the target.
McNamee again had a shot this time from a little closer again but again Rogers was equal to it.
The Lilywhites should have taken the lead just before the break when Hoban rose highest to meet Duffy’s corner kick on the right however his header skimmed the left hand post and went wide.
Dundalk did though take the lead immediately after the re-start when Duffy cut in from the left and played a superb reverse ball to find the run of Adorján and he composed himself before firing with his left foot across Mark McNulty and to the net.
Hoban headed over shortly after from McGrath’s cross before Hoban then looked to have the measure of Alan Bennett however the defender pulled him back and appear to strike the number 9 however the referee gave nothing.
McNulty found Duffy’s cross then too hot to handle however his parry was cleared to safety.
Cork equalised in the 66th minute though when Sadlier’s corner wasn’t dealt with and Bennett put the ball back in and it looped over the head of everyone except substitute Josh O’Hanlon who nodded to the net past Rogers despite Dundalk’s appeals of offside.
Dundalk responded well when Duffy struck a stinging drive from 20 yards but it was saved by the goalkeeper while McNamee again had an effort but once more it was saved by Rogers.
Karl Sheppard looked like he had a golden opportunity to put the Leesiders in front when he got into space and clear on goal but he took himself too wide and his shot struck the post.
Ronan Murray cut inside off the left and his cross turned into a shot and McNulty again nervously palmed the ball away.
Dundalk started to press further and were having all the ball. Duffy had a shot easily dealt with by the goalkeeper.
Hoban then had a superb chance to put Dundalk back in front when he met Duffy’s inch perfect free-kick however it went inchesver the crossbar.
They repeated the trick a few moments later however it went harmlessly wide off Hoban’s head this time.
Dylan Connolly’s pace late in the game was an asset and he got in behind Griffin and pulled the ball back brilliantly for Duffy however instead of taking the shot he tried to lay it off and the chance was gone.
When the game looked heading for stalemate Murray did brilliantly to find space on the left and latched onto Chris Shields’ pass. The Mayo man crossed with his left foot to find the diving head of his housemate and top scorer Hoban and he guided the ball to the net to send Oriel into raptures int he 93rd minute.
The referee played 7 minutes stoppage time in total but Dundalk saw it out to seal their ninth win on the bounce in what was an enthralling game at Oriel!
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson; Jamie McGrath (Dylan Connolly 75), Krisztián Adorján (Ronan Murray 71), Michael Duffy (Dean Jarvis 90); Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: Gabriel Sava (GK), Karolis Chvedukas, Daniel Cleary, Marco Tagbajumi.
Booked: Adorján (14), Benson (68)
Sent off: None.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Gearoid Morrissey, Conor McCormack (capt); Barry McNamee (Barry McNamee 88), Jimmy Keohane (Karl Sheppard 62), Kieran Sadlier; Graham Cummins (Josh O’Hanlon 62).
Substitutes not used: Peter Cherrie (GK), Danny Kane, Aaron Barry, Conor McCarthy.
Booked: Horgan (15), Morrissey (40), Griffin (79), McCormack (82)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Robert Harvey