Lilywhites Fall To Defeat Against Rovers
Dundalk fell to their first defeat in 13 league matches as Shamrock Rovers were 2-1 winners at Oriel Park on Tuesday night.
Roberto Lopes put Rovers in front in the second minute but Michael Duffy equalised in the second half. A dubious penalty from Dylan Watts though won it for Rovers in injury-time.
got off to the worst possible start when Roberto Lopes rose highest to head home a Dylan Watts free-kick from the left after Ronan Finn had been fouled.
The hosts responded with Patrick Hoban heading wide from six yards but the cross was awkwardly behind him.
Dundalk struggled to get a foothold in the game and Rovers had the next chance when Greg Bolger found space on the edge of the box but his effort was never threatening the goal.
Dan Carr did well on the left for the visitors as he got in behind the defence however his shot was erratic and was closer to the corner flag than anything else.
Dundalk had their first real chance of note just after the half hour mark when Sean Gannon did superbly well to get the ball around Sean Kavanagh and was raiding down on goal. His pull back missed Hoban however fell to Benson but he could only steer it over under pressure.
Duffy then crossed for Dane Massey but he couldn’t get any power on the header and the ball went dead while at the other end when Duffy crossed he found the acrobatic effort of Hoban but his ball came off Massey once more and went wide.
The final chance of the half did fall to Dundalk as after a scramble we were awarded a free-kick which Duffy took and found Brian Gartland however the ball went inches wide.
Brandon Miele threatened to add a second for Rovers straight after the break but his low drive was dragged wide
The Lilywhites would get their equaliser within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Duffy picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and danced past three challenges before his shot took a deflection and looped over the helpless Alan Mannus in goal.
Dundalk looked to capitalise on the momentum and Chris Shields found that it opened up for him however his shot was wild and well wide.
Dundalk began to dominate possession but had little cutting edge as the game approached the closing stages.
Benson’s free-kick was met by Brian Gartland who knocked down for McGrath who fed it to Hoban but his shot on the turn was blocked down well by the visitors.
Rovers were awarded a free-kick with 10 minutes remaining and Watts lined up from 30 yards which forced Rogers to tip over the crossbar to make sure.
With 85 minutes on the watch Dylan Connolly wandered from his right wing position and he gave it to Duffy on the run who put in a superb cross to find Benson at the back post however his header was inches over the bar with Mannus beaten.
It looked like the game was heading for stalemate however the Brandon Kavanagh had a shot blocked on the line and in the aftermath referee Robert Harvey saw a foul and awarded a penalty.
Watts stepped up and even though Rogers guessed the right way the ball found its way to the bottom left corner.
That was it and Rovers took the win.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland (capt), Sean Hoare, Dane Massey; Chris Shields, Robbie Benson (John Mountney 90); Jamie McGrath (Ronan Murray 77), Patrick McEleney (Dylan Connolly 56), Michael Duffy; Patrick Hoban.
Substitutes not used: John Mountney, Danel Cleary, Dean Jarvis, Georgie Kelly, Gabriel Sava (GK).
Booked: Hoban (26), McGrath (32), Shields (79), Gartland (81)
Sent off: None.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Alan Mannus; Ethan Boyle, Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes, Sean Kavanagh; Ronan Finn (capt), Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts; Joel Coustrain (Brandon Kavanagh 79), Dan Carr (Gary Shaw 14), Brandon Miele (Aaron Greene 71).
Substitutes not used: Joey O’Brien, Aaron Bolger, Sam Bone, Gavin Bazunu (GK),
Booked: Bolger (37), Finn (53), Watts (70), Shaw (90)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Rob Harvey