Dundalk FC 0-2 Sligo Rovers
Dundalk ended a truncated 2020 SSE Airtricity League season with a 2-0 defeat at home to Sligo Rovers on Monday night.
Despite the result, the Lilywhites qualify for Europe for the eighth successive season after securing a third place finish thanks to results elsewhere.
Goals in either half from Jesse Devers and Ronan Coughlan were enough to give the Bit o’Red all three points.
Dundalk had the first effort on goal in the third minute when Jordan Flores found space and let fly however his shot was easy for McGinty in goal.
Sligo grew into the game and took the lead after just 10 minutes when Jesse Devers speculative shot deceived Gary Rogers from 40 yards and nestled in the bottom corner.
Ronan Coughlan was next when he played a neat one-two with Junior but his shot was gathered at the second attempt by Gary Rogers.
The Lilywhites settled a bit better after that and had two long range shots from Stefan Colovic and Flores but neither threatened McGinty in goal.
Sean Murray had an effort easily saved by McGinty with just five minutes to go before the break while at the other end, Coughlan got free but fired well wide of the goal.
It was McGinty though that ensured his side stayed in front though.
First he managed to claw away Daniel Cleary’s hooked shot after Brian Gartland knocked Colovic’s corner down to him.
From the next corner though, Colovic again found Gartland and his header looked destined for the net but McGinty produced a stunning stop to keep it out.
Dundalk started the second half with an urgency and David McMillan, who replaced Patrick Hoban on the stroke of half-time, was found by Sean Hoare but his header from 10 yards was straight at the goalkeeper.
There was a lot of possession and a last ditch effort from Garry Buckley denied McMillan and the striker had a header go into the face of John Mahon as the clock hit 75 minutes.
Dundalk dominated the closing stages and came close in the 89th minute when Colovic’s corner was headed by Gartland onto Gannon’s leg but it was cleared behind.
Cleary was now operating as an auxiliary centre-forward and it was his clever play which brought around two quickfire efforts with his first one being blocked and the rebound saved by McGinty at close range.
With Dundalk pushing for an equaliser, they were hit in the break in stoppage time as Coughlan broke through and fired past Rogers to make it 2-0.
The Lilywhites tried to salvage something however referee Derek Tomney blew the full-time whistle after 6 minutes of injury-time.
DUNDALK: Gary Rogers; Sean Hoare, Brian Gartland (capt), Daniel Cleary, Cameron Dummigan (Darragh Leahy 84); Sean Murray (Sean Gannon 46), Jordan Flores (John Mountney 75); Stefan Colovic, Greg Sloggett, Nathan Oduwa; Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 45).
Substitutes not used: Aaron McCarey (GK), Jamie Wynne, Andy Boyle.
Booked: Hoare (69)
Sent off: None.
SLIGO ROVERS: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Niall Morahan (Will Seymore 79), John Mahon, Regan Donelon (Alex Cooper 65); David Cawley (capt), Ronan Coughlan; Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Garry Buckley, Jesse Devers; Ryan de Vries (Darragh Noone 74).
Substitute not used: Luke McNicholas (GK), Danny Kane, Darren Collins, Sigitas Olberkis.
Booked: Junior (42), Morahan (58), Devers (80)
Sent off: None.
Referee: Derek Tomney