Lilywhites Held On Opening Night
Dundalk were held 1-1 by Sligo Rovers on the opening night at Oriel Park.
Jack Keaney put the visitors in front just before the half-time interval against the run of play while Sean Murray equalised just after half-time to secure a point.
Dundalk were almost in front after just 2 minutes when a Michael Duffy corner was onto the head of Brian Gartland but his effort was brilliantly saved by Edward McGinty in goal.
Duffy then had a shot blocked and from his follow up corner he found Gartland again but he headed it wide of the target.
The Lilywhites then had the perfect chance to take the lead when Robbie Benson capitalised on a mistake in the defence but he was brought down by McGinty and suffered a serious leg injury in the process.
After a six minute delay, Patrick Hoban stepped up but had his kick saved by the goalkeeper who redeemed himself.
After a scrappy period, Patrick McEleney clipped a ball over the defence for Hoban however his effort was well blocked by the goalkeeper.
McEleney then had an effort from 25 yards but it went harmlessly over the bar before Duffy’s cross for Mountney on the right was headed wide by the Mayo man.
Dundalk should have taken the lead when substitute Sean Murray floated a wonderful cross onto the head of Hoban however it was wonderfully saved by McGinty with a save to his left.
McEleneny then had a free-kick strike the post from 20 yards with McGinty beaten all ends up.
Sligo would actually go in front just before the break.
Chris Shields conceded a free-kick and Jack Keaney stepped up from 30 yards and swept the ball past Gary Rogers.
Immediately after the break, Sligo almost doubled their advantage when McFadden headed goalwards but Rogers got down to save.
Moments later Dundalk did draw level when Mountney headed down for Hoban and he laid it off for the on rushing Murray who powered to the net past McGinty.
Duffy then had a driving shot saved by McGinty from 25 yards and then teed up up Mountney but his shot was hooked well wide.
Dundalk were dominating possession but weren’t creating anything.
With 20 minutes to go Dundalk upped the pressure and first Hoban shot over from the edge of the area and McEleney shot straight at the goalkeeper when Murray played him in.
Gannon then volleyed over when Massey’s cross went all the way through to him and Georgie Kelly just got under Duffy’s cross from the left and pushed it over the bar.
Dundalk pushed for the winner but it wasn’t to come and we begin our title defence with a 1-1 draw.
|Shots on Target||10||3|
|Free Kicks Won||15||8|
Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Massey, Gartland, Hoare, Shields, Benson, Mountney, McEleney, Hoban, Duffy.
Subs: Murray for Benson, D Kelly for Mountney, G Kelly for McEleney.
Sligo Rovers : McGinty, Donelon, McFadden, Donleavy, Fordyce, Twardek, Keaney, Mahon, Kerrigan, Parkes, Leverock.
Subs: Morahan for Fordyce, Coughlan for Kerrigan.