Photo Gallery & Report: Dundalk 1-2 St. Patrick’s Ath.
Two goals in six second-half minutes from substitute Ian Daly and Daniel North stunned Dundalk as they fell to a third straight league defeat at the hands of Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Oriel Park on Monday evening, as Ian Foster’s side suffered a cruel loss yet again at the hands of the Inchicore club. The Lilywhites responded well to Friday’s Louth Derby reversal and dominated most of the first half, with a number of penalty appeals turned down by referee Derek Tomney. The home side eventually hit the front on 56 minutes when Colin Hawkins bundled in a corner from close range, but the lead lasted just 13 minutes, and the game was quickly turned on its head as the Saints secured a barely-deserved three points.
Photo Gallery, courtesy of Nigel Caldwell: Here!
Dundalk manager Ian Foster made just one change to the team that lost to Drogheda United three days earlier as Nathan Murphy replaced Shane Guthrie, who was unavailable due to the terms of his loan agreement. Dundalk were boosted by the inclusion of Dean Bennett who had been doubtful with an ankle injury. After a quiet opening ten minutes, where Keith Ward was dispossessed as he approached the 18-yard line and North saw a lob fly wide, Dundalk sprung to life before the quarter-hour mark. Ward and Quigley combined to setup Gaynor on the left and his low cross into the box was blocked behind with Mark Griffin ready to pounce. That corner was cleared behind for another, and this time a short corner was rolled into the path of Greg Bolger whose shot from range appeared to be handled in the box. Nothing was given, with Ward connecting with the falling ball but St. Pat’s cleared it off the line, with a hand, and not that of Rogers, seemingly involved as Derek Doyle got rid of the danger.
Dundalk continued to press, while at the other end Stephen Bradley curled a free-kick wide of the top corner. Mark Quigley then attempted to slide Griffin in but the pass was just too strong as it ran through to the visiting ‘keeper. Quigley then drove a near 40-yard free-kick which was deflected just wide, before Daniel Kearns’ corner to the back stick was headed back across goal by Hawkins, which led to another penalty claim after another apparent handball. Dundalk retrieved the ball on the right with Bennett unable to connect with the cross, the ball coming to Kearns who fed Quigley, the ex-St. Pat’s man shooting goalwards but Rogers saving. The Saints were feeding on scraps and North shot over on the half-hour mark, before Cherrie denied the No9 with another effort. Dundalk broke from that with pace and Kearns laid off to Bolger who dragged a shot wide.
North was causing problems again shortly after when he turned Bennett after a pass over the top by Ian Bermingham, but Murphy produced a fine last-ditch tackle to deny the English striker a shot on goal. On 39 minutes, Bolger found Griffin on the left, and with Rogers slipping in the box, Griffin ran into the area but saw his cross was gathered by the recovered ‘keeper. Kearns’ corner then led to a goalmouth scramble but somehow Dundalk could not find a lead goal, despite Ward’s best efforts, with yet more suggestions that a hand prevented the ball finding the net. After the break, Bradley’s low free-kick went wide of goal. Then, from a long throw-in which was cleared, Dundalk broke again with pace, Kearns forcing the visitors to concede a corner. And from that, Hawkins rose to connect with Gaynor’s delivery, St. Pat’s stopping the first effort on the line but their former centre-half followed up and made sure. Moments later, it could have been 2-0 when the hosts put a superb passage of play together, but Simon Madden’s cross was just over the head of Griffin.
On 64 minutes, St. Pat’s introduced both Shane McFaul and Daly, and moments later Bradley fired a shot from distance which forced Cherrie to push behind. The corner fell to Brian Shortall whose shot was heading for the net but for a brilliant block by Quigley. The cross back in was headed over by North. St. Pat’s, however, did draw level on 69 minutes when Daly turned his man inside the box before blasting past Cherrie from 12-yards. Bolger then did well to deny McFaul a shot before Cherrie somehow denied North with a fabulous reflex save. There was nothing the Scot could do about the next effort, though, as North swept home a cross from the right to leave Dundalk trailing and stunned. On 85 minutes, Quigley tried to get Dundalk back on level terms when a neat touch gave him space for a shot and he took it on, a 35-yard drive forcing Rogers into a fine save as he turned the ball around his post.
DUNDALK FC: Peter Cherrie, Simon Madden ©, Colin Hawkins, Dean Bennett, Nathan Murphy, Greg Bolger, Keith Ward, Daniel Kearns, Mark Quigley, Ross Gaynor, Mark Griffin.
Goal: C Hawkins (56).
Booked: G Bolger (18), C Hawkins (90+4).
Unused Subs: Paul Murphy (GK), Johnny Breen, Chris Kerr, Philip Duffy.
SAINT PATRICK’S ATHLETIC FC: Gary Rogers, Neil Harney, Ian Bermingham, David Mulcahy, Stephen Bradley ©, Daniel North (David McMillan 80), Paul Crowley (Shane McFaul 64), Derek Doyle, Daryl Kavanagh, Seán Stewart (Ian Daly 64), Brian Shortall.
Goals: I Daly (69), D North (75).
Booked: P Crowley (23), D Mulcahy (90+4).
Unused Subs: Chris Bennion (GK), Jake Carroll, James O’Brien, Jordan Keegan.
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).
Attendance: 1,300 (Official).